Reading: Still reading American Cakes, and I am thinking about revisiting some recipes so I can make another post in here. Some of the most interesting cakes are actually ones that are published in passing like the War Cake, mayonnaise cake, or the original brownies. So I will probably be making some of those as well.
Watching: I’ve been watching lots of Adventure Time. I use to walk Wolfie in the afternoon but moved it to the morning for the summer so I could run/walk before it got too hot. So that means I am bored as heck in the afternoon. So Adventure Time has been something good to watch since it is short, and Wolfie tends to not care about what is going on the TV screen. I’ve also been watching the FIFA Confederation Cup as well. This, unfortunately, Wolfie loves to watch. So I have a feeling he will be a team sports type of guy.
I’ve been also obsessed with Crash Course Mythology Series. I’ve always loved mythology but sometimes it is hard to find (and cheap) sources to that aren’t Eurocentric. But this series talk about lots of different areas, including myths from China, Japan, India, parts of Africa, and the Americas. Heck even Hawaii! I strongly recommend checking it out.
Crafting: Still working on my cat quilt. We finished all the patches! Yey! Now the boring stuff- making it into a quilt. lol. My Mother and I need to make a trip out to Intercourse (yes that’s the name of a town) to get more of the grey fabric. I will be so happy when this is over. Our current blanket it too warm and too small for the summer.
Listening: Charli XCX released her new album so I’ve been listening to that on Spotify. Jon and I have been checking out albums from the library and transferring them to our computer. I found Foo Fighters and now I am suddenly remembering how awesome they are.
Garden: My garden is doing much better than last year! After owning it for 3 years, my amaryllis FINALLY BLOOMED! My Mom got it for me one winter and it bloomed when we got it, then it just didn’t after that. It was pretty exciting to see the red flowers, but we might have to give it to someone else since it is poisonous to children once winter comes. Our succulents bloomed as well! They are spreading quite a lot which was the plan for them. We even had a few lilac blooms as well.
The mystery plant that I got from Lowe’s has been thriving! It is much bigger than what I expected so this fall we will move it someplace different. I think it has been blocking the light for the balloon flower. The gladiolas keep getting nibbled by bunnies. And I think I have watermelon seeds that sprouted. Wut? Which is nice but a bummer since it looks like the hops vine didn’t make it. T_T
Podcasts: Now that Wolfie has been sleeping more through the night I’ve been listening to less podcasts. But when he wakes up on rare occasions at 4 in the morning I’ve been listening to Oh No! Ross And Carrie’s Scientology series. It has been pretty funny. They also have a really funny series featuring their trip to the Ozark UFO Conference. Highlights? The Owl speaker, a penis star map, and a woman who thinks we had our memories wiped away after 1996.
CSA: I tried to keep a log of all of the food I got from my CSA. Yeah that didn’t last too long. Well here is a fairly basic summary-
- half a bag bok choy
- half a bag beet greens + extra beet greens from parents
- 2 bunches of beets with greens + 8 leafless beets
- 2 bunches of collard greens
- 7 heads of lettuce (almost all frozen in fridge)
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1 bunch turnips + greens + 5 solo turnips
- cutting celery
- 3 bunches of scallions
- 7 garlic scapes
- 5 kolhrabi
- 1 1/2 bags of kale
- 3 bunches of parsley
- 1 quart snap peas
- 1 1/2 bags of tatsoi
- 2 heads of nappa cabbage
- 2 heads of cabbage
- 6 zucchini
- 10 or so small carrots
- 2 slicing cucumbers
- 5 pickling cucumbers
- 4 broccoli crowns
I’ve been busy making lots of dips and spreads. I tried out a creamy radish dip that was in our CSA newsletter, parsley and cutting celery pesto, and a beet hummus. All of which has been put on toast for Wolfie. He’s been digging some of the produce eating sticks of kolhrabi, golden beets, broccoli, and cucumbers. Hubby’s been eating the snap peas raw with his lunches.
Since the early produce days consistent of mostly greens, I’ve been busy eating salad (whenever the lettuce doesn’t freeze up) mostly taco salads. I used some of the beet greens instead of spinach in a florentine. I’ve made Chana Saag with kale and coconut milk. And pretty much blending extra greens in smoothies whenever I can.
Other Eats: Ice cream! Store bought ice cream! I’ve been snacking on little ice cream snacks when possible in stores. And MOM’s Organics have had my favorite Sorbabes on sale- Peanut Banana with chocolate fudge. We’ve also been to VEDGE! I am so excited to write up the review for the blog. And I got some sick photos before I drank too much and it started to get dark. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What have you guys been digging for the month of June?
I swear everything is moving super fast. Wolfie is on the edge of moving around. He is starting to roll around more- but mostly when I walk out of the room or when he is alone in the crib. My guess is that he knows I’ll hand him some of his toys? But then again he isn’t very good at rolling off his tummy, so there were a few times he woke up in the middle of the night and I had to roll him on his back again.
Wolfie can now sit up by himself (once you prop him up). He loves sitting up while playing. I no longer need to be right behind him – though sometimes he wobbles too much and falls down. Thank goodness for the sitting because he now wants to stand up less. Yey! Less work for me.
The other day we went to a friend’s 30th Birthday Party and there were lots of babies. I was a little surprised how much Wolfie just wanted to hang around the other babies. He was clearly taking notes because the two older babies were crawling. At the party he kept trying to get on all fours but wasn’t sure how to move. In fact he still was trying it at home, and actually keeping his tummy off the floor. So who know, maybe crawling will happen in the near future?
Sleeping is getting better. He still cries when we put him down for the night but it is immediately stops when I leave the room. Maybe I’ll start reading a book before leaving for the night to try and soften the transition. Sadly, we had to do sleep training for naps. I put it off and put it off and kept Wolfie in his small rocker instead of the crib for naps. Then a heatwave hit right as I was trying transition. I didn’t want to use the rocker since it wouldn’t help in the heat. He also wasn’t falling asleep in my arms because he was too hot, not that it mattered because he almost always woke up when I placed him in the crib. It was sooooo terrible. But once the heatwave went away, he fell asleep in the crib by himself. Now he has similar reactions as going to bed- crying when I am in the room, but starts putting himself to sleep when I leave.
And now the sleeping is a LOT more consistent. It has been a sigh of relief for us, since we know he will STAY asleep at night. I remember for the first 2-3 months having to swap baby duty so I could try and get enough sleep. Now if I am getting up in the middle of the night it is at 4 in the morning. And I am not pretty much always getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Loving solids! I was a little worried about starting him on solids since the recommendations are now to wait until they a six months old, but I figured why not. If it seemed to be a bad idea I would take a step back and wait. So far no digestion issues and he seems eager to eat the purees. I made some awhile ago from produce from last years CSA crops- butternut squash, turnips, and parsnips. All are getting the baby seal of approval.
Then I flip flopped and read Baby Led Weaning. So I ditched the purees and went for “adult” foods. It has been interesting since 95% of the food rarely gets into his mouth. So maybe there will be a what we ate coming up soon.
May is a busy month for me – having a birthday in May pretty much means you are used to your birthday thunder being stolen. I remember once being invited to two different weddings on my birthday one year (one being my uncle, the other being my grade school teacher.), as well as there being school graduations, Mother’s Day, and copious other birthdays. This year we celebrated Mother’s Day, my birthday, and my 4th wedding anniversary all in the same week. So when Jon told me one Saturday that he was taking me out for a surprise I really didn’t know what to expect. Turns out we were going out for a big birthday dinner with my sister and friends (apparently I am turning 30 this year and that’s a big deal)!
Jon got his parents to watch Wolfie as we got dressed up and got into the car. At this point I didn’t know yet that what was going on. I tried not to speculate since Jon has a poor history of keeping surprises (I’d already found a wrapped gift in the closet). I noticed we were getting off at the exit for the train so I start pulling out my PATCO card… and then we drive right past the station….
“We need to stop by your sister’s house. We split a gift for your birthday and she forgot to bring it into work so we’ll need to pick it up!”
That sounded plausible, so I thought no big deal. She also lives next to a different station so it made sense. As we start pulling to my sister’s house I see a car, one I’ve never seen. So I asked who’s car was that- or rather “Who the fuck did that shitty park job?!” Jon said that it MUST have been a friend of my niece’s – and at this point if I wasn’t sleep deprived I would of gotten suspicious. When we got inside I was surprised by Alexa and both my sisters! That shitty park job was Alexa!!! In her defense there wasn’t much she could of done, it’s just the shape of my sister’s driveway.
So we all got on the train and met up with my friend Justine in the city to eat at Bar Bombon. It is a Puerto Rican/latin tapas restaurant owned by Nicole Marquis. She worked at Vedge, and opened up Charlie Was A Sinner and HipCityVeg. There was a lot of hype when the restaurant opened and much has already changed. The restaurant moved from having a mix of burritos, arepas, and tacos to having more seasonal plates.
If you are thinking about coming to this place YOU MUST make a reservation. My goodness the place was packed! When you come in it is a little awkward as you immediately walk into the bar area. There is barely enough room to walk past the bar to the seating. There is also a few tables outside but it is next to alley, which isn’t terribly charming. But the inside is awesome and very warm.
Alexa’s note: At first glance I noticed that I really liked the decor of this place. I don’t go out into Philly that often unless I’m with Jen, so I just love taking in the scenery of new restaurants and such. It was very crowded, but it was also a Saturday night around peak “let’s go out” hour – I guess I was just surprised because it was also pouring rain (I’ve been out of the city for too long and apparently forget that rain stops almost no one from going out and being away from their apartments).
Overall I really enjoyed the food and drinks, they had an extensive list of cocktails that I did not partake in…unlike Jen I’m wary of liquor as opposed to beer because if I don’t like it, it’s not a pretty sight. This is a place that I would love to come back to and try more off of the menu.
Avocado, green goddess, black bean puree, mirepoix
Alexa: One of the things I miss most as a vegetarian is good barbecue and food slathered in buffalo sauce. I love buffalo cauliflower for this very reason! Let me tell you – this taco DELIVERS. The cauliflower is slightly crisp and not soggy and the buffalo sauce isn’t overpowering. While I would say that everything we ate that night certainly tasted fresh I especially felt that way about everything in this dish.
Blackend chick’n, smoked tempeh, avocado, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, grain mustard aioli
Jen: This was my favorite of the dinner and it was FILLING. This is one of those confusing tapas how big/small are the plates moments as this sandwich I think was a lot more food than the tacos. The club comes with a side of fries, which makes it pretty much a stand alone meal. The club was amazing! Definetly the chick’n and tempeh make it stand out as a unique sandwich from the original cubano sandwich. The smoked tempeh was tasty, and the pickles and aioli give just enough tang. If I were to go back with hubby, I might get this again with a vegetable plate and probably would have enough to eat (with cocktails too duh)
GUACAMOLE FRESCO & PICANTE
I know it is possible to mess up guacamole, but it happens to rarely. I liked the guac here. They let the avocados speak for themselves. You can pick it “fresco” or “picante.” The picante wasn’t insanely hot, but if you want a more traditional route, get fresco. They give a good amount of guac to chips. I was able to use some of the guac with my yuca fries. The chips were pretty nice too, and clearly fried on location.
Leeks, currants, pickled plantains
I had really high expectations for these empanadas and was a little disappointed. Not to say they tasted bad, I just envisioned something different. The flavor was soft, and the plantains were served on the side. The empanadas were fried to perfection though.
Brussels sprouts, peanut, mango, lemon
Jen: My rushed meals at home mean I don’t eat enough veggies. So this night I was craving vegetables so Jon and I split the brussel sprouts. They were roasted to perfection with crispy leaves. There was a tasty peanut dipping sauce which was amazing. The annoying thing is that I tasted zero mango. I am guessing it was mainly in there as a sweetening agent?
Alexa: I love Brussels sprouts. Jen isn’t exaggerating when she said these were cooked to perfection, I probably could have had that whole plate as a meal for myself! To be fair, I didn’t know there was supposed to be any mango involved in the dish so I wasn’t as let down, but the oil used to cook the sprouts did have a sweetness to it. So maybe she’s not off on the “sweetening agent” idea!
SEITAN “AL PASTEUR”
Guacamole, onion, cilantro, pineapple
Alexa: I enjoyed this taco as well, but it wasn’t my favorite of the two that I tried. I enjoy spicier foods, so the buffalo cauliflower was a huge hit. The seitan was cooked well and had a lot of flavor that was brought out more by the onion and pineapple. I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a “meatier” dish.
Roasted peppers and onions, cheese sauce
Jen: My sister seemed to be very concerned about what was in the cheese sauce. The wait staff was very hesitant to give any clue about what it was made of, but if I were to take a guess it was maybe a veggie based sauce? Whatever was in it ended up tasting great. The fries were thin and extra crispy. My only complaint is that it could of had more toppings.
Alexa: My only complaint was that these weren’t bottomless because…
a) potatoes are a gift on this green Earth
b) potatoes cut into thin pieces covered in sauce and veggies are also a gift.
I strongly recommend getting these yuca fries. They are light and fluffy but crispy on the outside. If you like handcut french fries, you will love these. They come with a sauce that made me think of the “special sauce” that my parents would get in Southern Utah. It was just ketchup and mayo, but this sauce tasted like it had a paprika kick.
BETTER & BETTER
aged rum, mezcal blanco, falernum
DUMMY GUIDE: rum, tequila (or something like it), spiced syrup
Hubby got this drink first. I am guessing the mezcal blanco means it is similar to tequila. Mezcal is pretty much an open ended category for drinks made from any type of agave plant. So this ended up being a strong “manly” drink served in a low-ball/old fashioned glass. The drink was very robust and nicely spiced. I question the purpose of the mezcal? I couldn’t particularly pick up on any of it.
tequila blanco, orange liqueur, lime
This is a classic magarita- like a REAL one. No neon colors, no slushie ice, and all fresh ingredients. It was really refreshing and tasty. Personally I like less ice, but is perfect for people who don’t like strong drinks.
tequila blanco, beet, habanero, lime
This is a twist to a margarita. Alexa got this drink and it comes out looking pretty pink-red because of the beet juice in it. It had just enough habanero to give a wee little kick.
NO LOVE LOST
london dry gin, lavender, cucumber, thyme, lime
This was my sister’s favorite drink, so much so she got it twice! I can see why. I found it super refreshing and you could taste all the different components. They worked all so well with each other. I strongly suggest this to anyone, but particularly to people who don’t like strong drinks.
mezcal blanco, white rum, creme de violette, rose water
DUMMY GUIDE: a tequila like liquor, un-aged rum, sweet violet flavor liquor, rose water.
This was my drink of choice! I’ve been wanting to try creme de violette for some time but not many liquor stores sell the stuff. FYI it is creme because the sugar gives a creamy texture. It was really nice. It had nice floral notes but wasn’t over powering. You don’t taste much of the rum and mezcal but I think they helped prevent the drink from tasting too much like perfume.
I love random posts like Friday Favs, Currentlies, Le Love List, The Amazing Five, and RWL so I figured I would make a similar monthly update about me. Especially since I’ve been making monthly updates on the babe, I figured it would be nice to unfold what’s been on my mind this month.
Readings: I just finished Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. I mainly picked it up because the trailer and DVD cover for the movie adaptation looked cool. I still would like to see the movie, but the book was interesting. Clearly for a book written in the south in the 50s is going to have some questionable aspects on race, so that was something to take note of. But I liked the surreal imagery and writing style overall. I didn’t LOVE it since it was so religiously based, so I think some references went over my head.
I am also trying quickly read Baby Led Weaning and Sleeping Through the Night. I am finding Sleeping Through the Night VERY good. My sister originally suggested Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and I found the author obnoxious. I am not the kind of person to get worried, but dear lord is this book is alarmist. And it takes forever for him to get to the point- I mean it is 688 pages long! Baby Led Weaning has been interesting. I think I am going to take the plunge at 6 months with the concept and see how that goes.
Watching: I wrote a review about The Handmaid’s Tale. I feel like I read it before it got really trendy. First time I’ve been ahead of a trend! Okay I know the book is a classic but whatever. There has been a total resurge of popularity with Pence and Trump in office. The TV series is super creepy and way too relatable. I think seeing actors in modern day clothes (rather than me picturing them in 80-90’s clothes) is unnerving. Plus there is the whole having a child myself idea.
We JUST finished the newest season of Sherlock. The last episode was AMAZING. It stinks that they only have three episodes per season, especially since it seems unlikely that they will be able to make another season.
And we have been watching the new Bill Nye Saves the World show on Netflix. It is okay. Some episodes are better than others but I do have a few problems with the show. It doesn’t feel like Bill Nye is honestly trying to change the opinions of people. Plus I think it would of been better if they filmed and heavily edited it instead of having in front of a live audience. If those two things changed I would of LOVED it.
Oh and Master of None. How did I go so long without watching it?
Crafting: I’ve been working really hard on getting my cat quilt done. I bought the pattern a while ago and I made it much bigger than the original pattern. Instead of 30 cats- we are doing 56. It’s huge. So I’ve been going to my Mother’s house and cutting the fabric and she has been sewing it together. It is looking pretty awesome.
Listening: The other day I saw an article about how jpop queen Ayumi Hamasaki is almost completely deaf. Alexa and I were pretty big fans of her music from 2010 and earlier. After hearing this news I decided to go back and listen to her newer stuff. Which she released A LOT of stuff in the past 7 years. Funny thing is that ALL of her music is on Spotify. Wut?! And Avex finally put full length music videos on their YouTube site (or PV- promotional video for the Japanese). Watching Evolution I wonder why it was my favorite video of hers. For anyone who isn’t a jpop fan, Ayumi Hamasaki is often compared to Madonna. She has evolved over the years and is known for shifting image. Her voice is very nasally so you will either love her or hate her.
Podcasts: I started to listen to The Longest Shortest Time and their most recent episode is part 5 of their Accidental Gay Parents series. So I downloaded the first episode. OMG- so many feels. It is such a heartwarming story and it got me all teary eyed. I strongly suggest you go and download the first episode and listen. I am sure you will immediately downloaded the second.
Eating: For my birthday I got a rice cooker and a slow cooker. This is REALLY nice because my biggest issue with cooking is about being able to turn the stove off if Wolfie wakes up early or feeds for too long. So I made vegan chili, vegan jambalaya, and pearled barley. Now I need to think more about how to work my CSA shares into my meals.
And since it has been getting warmer I’ve been making a LOT of ice cream. There is now space in my freezer for the ice cream maker so I’ve been using it! Mostly I’ve been experimenting with cereal milk ice cream, but I also made cheesecake cookie and cream ice cream that my husband loves.
CSA: We just started our first week at the CSA. Not much, but that is expected in the spring. I think the weird weather isn’t helping either. There has been lots of rain (yey!) but it was really hot then very cool. So all we got right now was two bunches of radishes, one bunch of kale, two heads of lettuce, and a small bag of broccolini. I’ve been eating taco salads with leftover chili, salsa, blue corn chips, and vegan chorizo with the lettuce and radish greens. There was some stir-fried broccolini in a sesame sauce. And I honestly can’t remember what I did with the kale. XD
Naked Lunch at MOM’s Organics
When Alexa came to visit the Little Wolfie I thought it would be a good idea to get out of the house. We went to try out Naked Lunch- a small cafe attached to the food market chain MOM’s Organics. I am here to gush about both places. I know I don’t talk about markets that often, but I am totally digging this one!
I was pretty skeptical at first, MOM’s opened up across from the Whole Foods in town. I thought “who the heck would shop at MOM’s over Whole Foods?” There are definetly pros and cons between the two. The biggest (only?) con about MOM’s is that they don’t have a barista bar. Womp womp! And clearly there are some brands that aren’t available at MOM’s that are at Whole Foods. But on the flip side there are MORE smaller brands and products at MOM’s organics (and actual sales!).
I remember coming into Whole Foods years ago and finding everything so new and amazing. There were so many eco-friendly and exciting new vegan products. But as time went on, it seemed to be not-so-special. I don’t know if it is because I am older, or if they got rid of the more unique items, but coming to MOM’s reminded me of the early days of Whole Foods and being excited about grocery shopping. There is a huge section of bulk foods including pastas, grains, beans, and soaps. They sell tofu by the pound and roast their own coffee beans. They are really interested in reducing their carbon footprint. Don’t want to waste a bag each time you buy beans? They sell glass jars to fill up, and I am sure you can bring your own containers.
There are also lots of products for sale that aren’t food. I almost flipped that they sold cloth diapers- the first store I saw them being sold in! I even bought a reusable coffee filter from there and they do seasonal collections for recycling items. Recently there was a jeans drive. At the exit there is a recycling bin for many different types of non-traditional items – snack bags/plastic bags, brita filters, corks, and shoes.
Any my favorite is that near the registers there are free cups of water- right next to the bottled water. How nice!
As mentioned they have a little cafe named Naked Lunch. Alexa and I ate here. They offer on tap kombucha, which isn’t as tasty as the ones at Whole Foods or Heart Beet Kitchen. It is a smidge too sweet for me, so depending on your preference, you might like it more. But the price is MUCH cheaper than the other two locations, so it is totally worth it. They also have fresh juices, though we didn’t try any of them.
The area for eating is very small, but there appears to be a wifi area on the second floor of the store. I haven’t checked that out yet, so I can’t make any comments on how nice it is. But I would ask the staff about it if you want to take your time eating your lunch.
All food is organic and vegetarian and the options that are vegan are clearly marked. The portions are huge! Alexa and I both had food to bring home, and used it in meals for several more lunches. I can easily say it is worth the $10 (roughly) that we paid for our meals.
I got the Lin Bowl which had tofu, brown rice, carrots, seaweed, zucchini, and kimchi. It was super tasty and reminded me of fried rice. I ate maybe a quarter of it while there, and proceeded to use the rice in wraps for 4 different lunches. I wish it had just a little bit more tofu to rice. But that is my only complaint.
Alexa’s note: I ordered the Jammed Yam: Sweet Potato topped with pineapple-quinoa stuffing, avocado, and garnished with cilantro and jalapeño-lime dressing…
I loved how refreshing this tasted. I don’t think I would ever think to put all of these items together in one dish but it definitely worked.
The only thing that’s tough with vegan dishes for me is that a lot of times the dishes can lean towards being mostly carbs depending on the grains and veggies. I track my food on an almost daily basis (it’s not as grueling as it sounds – I promise!) so this really helped me meet my carb intake with the quinoa and sweet potato. The jalapeño-lime dressing wasn’t too spicy but definitely added a good flavor to the dish that was nice.
Like Jen said, we had plenty to take home, so I used it as a side for almost three meals after we went here!
What a crummy start to this new chapter of Wolfie’s life. The Monday after turning four months there was a gloriously perfect day! Wolfie slept for an hour and half in the morning and in the afternoon, and slept through the night. The next morning I woke up to people working my roof. The guys start from 8 in the morning to 7 at night. It was AWFUL! I was starting to get into a groove with Wolfie, wake up at 7, eat, play, eat, sleep after 2 hours. But it was more like eat, rush around packing things, eat, run to my in-laws, unpack, eat, try to sleep, fail, eat, play, eat, try to sleep, fail, eat, get fed up, go for a ride, well you get the idea. And getting home wasn’t so great. Wolfie wasn’t bothered by the banging, but they were working on the roof while I was rocking him to sleep! They are done and we have a nice new roof so I am happy.
Wolfie celebrated his first Easter. We aren’t very religious and Jon and I have a particular irk about Easter. So we had a low key Easter dinner with his parents. We tried to dress him up a little but he spit up on his clothes right as I took out the camera. haha. It should be interesting how we handle the whole Easter thing next year when he is a little older.
Wolfie’s sleep as always is all over the place. At one point he was falling asleep all by himself at night and IT WAS AWESOME! He was even sleeping through the night. Then he randomly decided he wanted someone to walk him to sleep, and he would wake up in the middle of the night. I eventually told my husband that something had to give. I couldn’t be up at night AND struggle to get him to nap during the day. He also getting better as staying awake in the car and the stroller. Eek!
So we had him cry it out. It sucked the first night. It took an hour and ten minutes of crying before he fell asleep. The only good thing was that unlike most babies, he cried a lot less the second night. Now he mostly does a protest squawk then starts dozing off. We also had to do this since he wasn’t a fan of the crib. We are still working on the transition as we try and get him to sleep in the crib for naps. Ugh.
The worst was the heat waves. His head would sweat while I rocked him to sleep then stick to my arm when I put him in his bed. This caused him to wake up and then get no sleep. AWFUL! Since we are trying to get him to sleep on his own, one night he cried for 45 minute which was odd since he was starting to just sleep without any crying. We had to feed him some cold formula and bring in the BIG fan in his room. Instantly fell asleep after we did that.
And since the heatwave was so bad we started him on solids. Pretty much he didn’t want to breastfeed because it was way too hot to be held. When I would go into cooler rooms he just wanted to look around. It was so frustrating. At that point it JUST hit 5 months so I thought- why the hell not? And you know he really liked it.
In my usual fashion I forgot to keep working on this post as the month went by. Ack! So the past few weeks are much fresher in my memory. The food- the sleep- mother’s day- first CSA visit! So I will let this post be insanely short.
I had already posted a recipe for a pre-made smoothie mix, but I was thinking lately about how expensive protein powders are. I had some on mornings when my husband was able to make my shake before me. It was easy to take a nice mix like Vega and blend it up quickly, but the price tag was too much and I wanted to try to make a protein powder that could just be blended on it’s own without too many other ingredients.
I had a brilliant idea of using freeze dried fruit to add flavor to chalky protein powders and I have to say it works pretty well! I remember the days when you could only get the stuff like freeze dried iced cream from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, but now all sorts of freeze dried things are popular snacks. I got mine from Trader Joe’s for a pretty reasonable price and it is easy to just dump the bag in the food processor to make the mix.
Oh… but wait…. take out that silica gel packet first!
I didn’t and my god did I cry. Sure I am a little sleep deprived, but I was pretty pissed. I used two packages of freeze dried strawberries, two cups of protein powder, and made a smoothie. And it tasted awesome. So I started to pour the powder in a container and noticed a shredded up packet. I had to throw out my smoothie, and all the powder mix. AWFUL!
Well, it gave me motivation to test out a few things a little more. I tried the freeze dried blueberries, which were so-so. The freeze dried mangos were awesome! I tried mixing with just water, just plant milk, or plant milk and ice. I have to say the homemade mix does pretty well with just milk, though I still suggest at least blending with a banana or avocado with ice to make it creamier.
One thing to keep in mind is that since I am not using flavoring agents like most smoothie mixes would use, you need more mix per smoothie. It might feel a little weird at first getting a measuring cup to make a smoothie, but it won’t taste too thick.
Ways Wolfies is Really A Wolfie
- He drools all over the place
- Sometimes he spits up on his toys then sucks off the spit up. Gross
- The cat is kind-of scared of him
- People tell him he is “such a good boy”
- We are teaching him how to roll over
Oh boy. Things are moving fast. Wolfi is starting to be a little more FUN. Less dangling of toys and more efforts from his part. He was trying really hard to grab things and put them in his mouth, but his eye hand coordination wasn’t the greatest. But my sister suggested I buy a play mat at a second hand consignment shop. Luckily I found this cute space themed one, and after setting it up, almost immediately Wolfie started to reach for the dangling toys.
Most of his time is spent trying to shove things in his mouth. Yup, we are in the early stages of teething. There are rings of spit around his neck, and his gums were red and sore. He didn’t want to eat and could barely sleep. It was sooo awful. One night I didn’t sleep longer than 2 hours at a time. The pressure on his teeth has curbed a little, but we still don’t see any teeth yet.
Even though he was having a hard time sleeping, he is now sleeps for most of the night. We are ranging from seven hours all the way to eleven and half hours! Whoo! Mama’s getting almost eight hours of a sleep consistently. Hell, one night I got NINE hours of sleep. It was glorious. Even his daytime naps have been better as well. Most of the time little Wolfie is sleeping 30 minutes, but one week he consistently slept 30 minutes then a longer nap later. Do we have days where he gets no sleep? You bet.
Some good news for my buff new mom arms- Wolfie weighted 15lbs, 10oz, putting him in the 50th percentile. Which means his growth is overall slowing down! Horray! He was starting to get a little hard to manage, but if he growing slower I am sure it will be easier over time.
This month has been both exciting and uneventful all at the same time. Although Wolfie is growing and learning, it is hard to pin-point his skills outside of “better.” He can grab things more tactfully, he can babbles more frequently, etc. But I do have one very interesting story.
See my husband almost always had a little help from me in the mornings. So when Wolfie was first born he had to do everything himself so I could feed him or sleep. He got the hang of it all but still couldn’t make the time for shaving. So he just grew a beard. No biggie. It was winter and it was cold. Now he thought that spring is coming and we have a better handle on things- it was time to shave.
In the middle of his shave job I had to do something (use the bathroom? eat? I don’t know anymore) so I asked if he could hold the lil Wolf for a second. Next thing I know he comes out of the bathroom with a 70’s stache. Holy cow did Wolfie hate it! He gave his Daddy a look and burst into tears. Clearly were were evil parents and torchered him long enough to capture the moment. Don’t worry, Jon shaved the rest of the hair and Wolfie recognized his Daddy again.
If you read my earlier post, you know I am baking my way through the American Cake cookbook. If I can make a good vegan version, I’ll post it on the blog. If I fail, well, I will still talk about the history and how badly I failed. XD But I have good news- this cake was successful!
First lets talk about the history of this cake. Before getting the American Cake book I never knew how American molasses is. Sure it is used in European recipes, but it is used more often in the American colonies since it was so cheap. White sugar was reserved for the upper classes and special occasions. So most Americans bought molasses to sweeten their baked goods.
But there is another aspect of Americaness to molasses. Many Quaker residences boycotted sugar. The sugar industry relied on slave labor, and conditions were considerably worse than slaves in the thirteen colonies. Most slaves were literally worked to death (while in the United States we cruelly let our slaves live long enough to have children and enslave them.) This sugar boycott makes me think about how vegans boycott animal products, and sometimes products that have unethical standards, like chocolate and palm oil. I love learning about historical activism!
In that spirit I TRIED to make the cake palm oil free, but the a lot of the flavor depended on butter. So if you want to be like the colonial quakers, you can try out some palm oil free margarine (which in the states mean Miyoko’s Cultured Butter.) If anyone tries using their own homemade vegan butter, please tell me how the recipe turned out!
Now as usually I can never just make a recipe. No, I had to make this recipes “healthier.” How? Simply using blackstrap molasses instead of regular molasses. You may have heard that blackstrap molasses is much more pungent and it has more vitamins in it. In fact, there is a good amount of calcium in blackstrap. How does this happen? Pretty much molasses is the by product of refined sugar after being boiled a second time. Blackstrap molasses is the result from the third boiling. That means less sugar, and more nutritional goodies.
Although I wouldn’t say this is the most healthy snack, it definitely is helping you out nutritionally. One slice (an eighth of a cake) has almost half of calcium in your daily requirements and almost all of the copper you need! If you want to make it even MORE healthful you could use part whole wheat flour or sub with whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour. I used all purpose unbleached flour.
Man, what a month this has been. It feels like it flew by but I think it’s mostly because I wrote his “2 month” post pretty late, so it FEELS like the month was just between baby posts. I said it once and I’ll say it again, each day he becomes more and more human like and more and more massive.
Wolfie is now becoming an infant- not a newborn, but a full blown functioning baby. It’s pretty exciting! The crying is much less, he tries to talk, grabs things, and is drooling…a lot. The scary thing is how fast he is growing. I think I can say he is growing at a not-so-normal pace. He is now wearing 6-9 month clothing…. at 3 months! I could kind-of wrap my head around him wearing 3-6 month clothing at 2 months. I mean that isn’t too far away, right!? It was just a few weeks early! Today I grabbed a footsie jammie that was warmer but larger in size since it has been pretty cold. I figured it would be baggy on him, but it actually fit really nicely. At this rate he will be a full grown adult by the end of the year.
All of his rapid growing has actually taken a toll on me. I guess little Wolfie is growing so fast that he has been waking up after only 4 hours of sleep for midnight feedings. This led to me being sleep-deprived, and a sleep-deprived me leads to crying me. At one point I went out for grocery shopping, and it was just a bad day. I was expecting a day off from watching Wolfie, but my Mom cancelled. I didn’t get any continuous sleep like I normally get. And it was incredibly windy so that Wolfie was constantly crying inbetween the car and the stores. It became clear that he wasn’t going to stop freaking out, and I started to get upset that I couldn’t even go grocery shopping. I had lots of produce and bagels, and couldn’t put them back so I went to pay for them. The cashier asked how I was doing, and I just lost it. I started crying, and the poor guy had to deal with a crying baby and a crying Mom. I feel as though I must not be the only Mom to have a meltdown, which helped me to feel better again. I figured I would try and make the trip again for the rest of the groceries, and it was MUCH more succesful.
I have to say though, Wolfie is a champion sleeper at night, just a crummy napper (10 hours and 20 minutes of solid sleep!). In fact the napping gets worse everyday. I rock him for 30 minutes, and he only sleeps 30 minutes. And it is just getting to the point of him getting too big to hold for long periods of time. Worse yet, he is such a light sleeper that transferring him from my arms to the bed usually wakes him up. So I have been trying to get him to cry it out to help him learn how to fall asleep on his own.
Let me tell you guys… it sucks!!!
I know most doctors say it doesn’t hurt the baby. Many people compare it to driving around in a car. You don’t stop the car, and hold your baby till he stops crying. You keep going until you get what you need done. But there is something awful of just sitting around waiting for him to stop crying. In fact this is the first time I waited long enough for him to fall asleep. It felt awful. I hope his crying lessens and lessens ’till I can just put him down. He would be such a happy baby if he just naps for an hour twice a day. YOU HEAR THAT WOLFIE?! THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO DO!
Overall I am feeling much better. Maybe it is medication, maybe it is the therapy, or just getting more sleep. I am getting all those squishy baby feels, and I am not getting all excited about seeing other people’s babies (who am I?) The other day I caught myself just walking around with Wolfie for an hour and enjoying it. I think it helps that I am getting out more.
Oh and Wolfie (finally) got to meet his Aunt Alexa! I think he was thrown off by her pink hair XD. The visit was great for me, since it has been forever that I’ve hung out with people my age, well, I’ve been hanging with my friend Justine a few times. We tried out a restaurant that will hopefully get posted. Also Alexa will be proofing my posts since I am too tired to notice run-on sentences and misspelled words.
*Editor’s Note (aka Alexa’s note): Guys I am SO IN LOVE with Jen’s lil’ Wolfie. He’s so lucky to have such a great mama and dad on his life and I hope I get to squish his baby face again soon!!!*