Category Archives: The Girls

ALMOST got a gift from the William and Sonoma’s Hater’s Gift Guide. Alas, you can only hate on the monogram old fashion/low balls, not the monogram mugs. ^__~ PS I use this mug all the fucking time.

Hey everyone! Remember my last post talking about how rough things were kind-of financially (ie a new car and a large vet bill?) well our washing machine broke on New Years Day! HORRAY! Also Wolfie definitely has a cold. Great way to start the new year right?!

Well, I use to always make a post making various goals for the new year. 2014 was mostly about getting my butt into gears to work on the blog- back when I kind-of did some fashion posts. While 2015 I actually set some specific goals. So that meant that 2016 I reflected on if I kept those goals, or not. But I never posted anything for 2017 because of being busy with Wolfie, but also because of Post Partum Depression. So in that vain I will reflect on my 2016 goals-

Work out More Often – Not really. I think I had a good string going for awhile, but then I got pregnant and had a baby and well, you will see below

Start Practicing Yoga and Meditating – Nope. Not even close.

Stop Late Night Binge Eating – Not really, mostly because once I started to nurse I would have to cram calories in my mouth so eating a late night snack became common place again.

Read 28 Books – I got close! I read 24 books.

Start trying to get pregnant – accomplished

Buy a second couch – This never happened in part because my husband REALLY wants to get a new one. He has been dragging his feet about getting a second hand couch from the restore. Little does he know this meant that he won’t be getting a second couch until our child(ren) are less disgusting.

Hike More – Aside from the whole baby thing- I think we hiked a little more? I definitely took much more frequent daily walks

Visit a new vegan restaurant with Alexa once a month – This didn’t happen at all.

Watch a Movie Once a Week – This didn’t happen at all either

Start working towards the goal of being a Dietitian or Wellness Coach – Hey look another goal that didn’t happen! As I did more research about becoming a registered dietitian I became more confused if it was something I wanted to do. I am still kind-of confused of what direction I would like to take my career.

Goals for 2018

Workout and Run More Often

Surprise, surprise. This makes the list again. But unlike my previous goals, this one REALLY is essential. I have pretty much cut out exercise from my life and that is bad. I was at one point walking everyday about a mile or two around the neighborhood, but stopped since it has been really cold. Recently I had a few nights where I tossed and turned for hours getting only 3-4 hours of sleep, and I never had that problem. I am fairly certain it has to do with extra energy (a long with other stressors)

Photograph More

I was thinking about doing a Photo a Day challenge again, but I already forgot to take a photo on day one. Oops. But I haven’t been using my SLR camera much, and I would like to start using it again and playing around with the settings. I’ve gotten out of the habit since Wolfie is a little handful. Maybe start a photos of the month post?

Have a Cup of Tea Every Night

This was actually a goal from 2015, and I think it would be nice to bring back. It is nice a relaxing and will help curb my habit of a late night snack. It is important to get rid of the late night snack because I am not nursing a whole lot less. 

Get a New Job

I have been wondering what to do for a living for awhile now. I went to school for Film, thinking I would spend my life working on movies and such. But I decided sitting in front of a computer wasn’t what I was passionate about, and there was a lot of competition in the field. And even now I can’t decide what I want to do. I love food but I know it is market that is hard work. I love my job as a framer but it doesn’t pay the bills, and I can never REALLY work full time there. So I am going to try to either get hired at another place, or find another source of income as self employed.

Try and Lose Weight

This has been a topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about. I try and be very body positive and fat positive. I am not fat, but I try and keep negative fat talk out of my language. But I can’t help but want to loose some of the baby weight I’ve gained, and maybe some more. I have so many clothes that I don’t fit into anymore, and that bothers me. I know I am not going to fit into everything, but I would like to try to loose some. I won’t be going crazy with the dieting, and some of my goals are well intentioned. I want to work out more (read above) and eat more healthfully, which I kind-of don’t anymore. These are my two main ways of trying to loose weight, so that’s good right? I am also going to work on not putting myself down if I fall short on this goal.

Read 20 Books

I think I always set book goals because of Goodreads. I like to read but I am a slow reader. I thought I was going to read SOO many books in 2017 because of nursing. But that didn’t happen. Instead of reading while nursing I was more likely to play games and scroll instagram on my iphone. But now that I am sleeping more regularly I am getting in more reading time before bed. So maybe setting the goal of 20 books isn’t so crazy. If you are curious you can check out my reading summaries from previous years.

Goodreads: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Bake at Lest ONE Successful Cake a Month

See not that devoted to the whole diet thing. XD As mentioned I wanted to continue my American Cakes concept for Vegan MOFO (maybe doing some American pies) so I want to get a jump start so I don’t go into a sugar coma when it comes time. I have a few I already have ALMOST ready, just need a few extra tweaks and photos

More Cookbook, Restaurant, and Recipe Reviews

I might not have THAT many new restaurant review since I am a little broke, but I can do more recipe round ups and cookbook reviews. I miss doing them, plus it really helped me make the most of my cookbooks. I have a few I haven’t even TOUCHED since receiving them. Making these reviews help me delve deeper into them.

Be More Patient with Wolfie

I’ve been very quick to get angry lately with Wolfie. It might be because he secretly has been sick for the past two weeks. Regardless he is getting older and how I react will seem normal, and therefore he might grow up to be more short tempered. Ugh. Being a parent sucks, being accountable for your actions. Plus, if I am lucky, we might do potty training this year so… that will need lots of patience.

Update this layout!

My husband and I say it every year- make a new layout- update the blog- do more with it. And we never do. THIS WILL BE THE YEAR! I want a new layout that looks a little more professional. I also want to up my SEO game, because I write posts that I DO WANT PEOPLE TO READ. Sometimes I don’t care about hits and traffic, but then there are few posts that I think can be really helpful to people and I wish they could find them. I don’t want my layout to be 100% cookie cutter, but I would like to have look a little cleaner, plus I never really finished editing this layout to begin with.

So what about you guys? Any plans or goals for 2018?


Gosh talk about Vegan MOFO drop off! Okay so I posted quite a bit RIGHT after Vegan MOFO, but only posted ONCE in December. Yikes. I mean, it was about tacos, everyone loves tacos right? But I figured I would keep people in the loop about what the heck has been going on.

For starters it goes without saying that I’ve been busy this holiday season. Thanksgiving, Wolfie’s Birthday, and a Christmas marathon. And I am sure every parent know this- but once kids in the mix, Christmas ramps up to new levels of crazy. On top of the expected craziness we had two major life blips. Let’s start with the less sad-

THE CAR: We had two cars, one is nice and decent, the other is a disaster. It was never a nice car, it accelerated slowly, braked slowly, and had lots poor design feature. Mainly that when it rained sometimes the water would leak through the inside. We had a bucket to catch said rain water. It was 14 years old, and we were reaching that point of should we or shouldn’t we pay for any sort of repair. Sadly we reached a point where the most recent repair didn’t work, and the check engine light wouldn’t go off. It ran, but there was a scheduled state inspection and if the check engine light is on you don’t pass. This happened two weeks before the deadline. We had no choice but to get a new car.

This cut into our time and finances as we were not ready to buy a new car. Which sucks. And this has been all watered down from all the little details of suckatude. The summary is that we ALMOST could of gotten away with driving our crummy Dodge Neon for a little longer. But we didn’t.

Toulouse sitting on wrapping paper like the good old days- and sporting her new hair cut

TOULOUSE: I don’t post as much about her, but Toulouse is an important member of our family. Like parents do with their children- Jon mixes up Toulouse’s name with Wolfie’s all the time. Instagram followers may have noticed that I posted recently about my cat. She wasn’t eating which is rare because she is normally meowing up a storm and begging non-stop.

We went to the vet and got blood work done. She had INSANELY high levels of a toxins in her body. I can’t remember the specifics but when I first wrote the numbers down they were so far fetched I thought I misheard him. The vet even said he has never seen numbers so high. After much crying and freaking out, we came to the conclusion that we should treat her for kidney inflammation before getting the biopsy results back. We were mentally prepared to put her to sleep.

She almost immediately started to improve. She became a lot more sociable, and slowly gained more and more of her appetite. I didn’t give a big ol’ thumbs up on instagram because I wanted to wait until we got the biopsy to make sure she would be ok. She is. She got pretty much all her blood levels under control. The vet was pretty shocked.

Now, here is the downside. She took a really long time to eat her food last night. We are fearing that her kidney is flaring up again, and that isn’t too far fetched. The vet asked if we had certain medications that she might of eaten that would cause the kidney inflammation. We couldn’t think of a cause, so that left the lingering thought that the trigger would still be around the house. I have a sneaking suspicion it might her Greenies treats. I knew they had recalls in the past, but seeing all the complaints on consumer affairs, it is a little sobering. We always gave her some treats before bed, and didn’t have any troubles. ONCE she vomited from them, we threw the bags out assuming it was a bad batch. I recently got a HUGE tub of them, and I think we got it right when she started to get sick. We just stopped giving them to her. The lack of appetite could just be holiday stress, but we will keep a close eye on her.

THANKSGIVING: I didn’t really talk about Thanksgiving so I will keep a small summary of what we made. We had a low key Thanksgiving at our house with my Mother and Father in Law. We made:

Thanksgiving went well. Wolfie seemed to like all the different Thanksgiving foods, until we gave him the cranberry sauce. Oh boy. I regret that. Afterwards that is all he wanted. He was not happy, and at one point we had to mix the sauce with all the other food and spoon feed it to him. I also remember him going to bed pretty early, and we showed off his sleeping skills to his Grandma and Grandpa by falling asleep on his own in the crib.

Walking between apartments in the snow

CHRISTMAS IN BROOKLYN: This is the second longest trip Wolfie has taken. Much shorter than traveling deep into Long Island to Amityville, but still pretty long. We went into my parent’s car again, and drove through the snow. We had SOOOO much packed! Much more than what I would normally bring. We had lots of food, gifts, but the biggest thing was the stroller. We were going to stop by my sister’s new apartment (which is cute as a fuckin button) for appetizers then walk to my Aunt’s for the main course. That meant walking in the snow with Wolfie. It was both a pain and a little magical. Hopefully in a year or two he will be making a trip up to Brooklyn to visit his Aunt to check out all the fun Christmas stuff in NYC, the mainstream Rockefeller Center and the lesser known Dyker Heights.

It turned out to be a pretty nice trip. It was a nice practice run to see how Wolfie would react to bigger crowds. He was going to have lots of family at his birthday party, on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. He seemed pretty chill with everyone, and I think there were enough people he knew that he felt comfortable. The downside was that on the ride home it took him awhile to fall asleep. My Father is a little foot heavy on the gas and breaks so he would periodically wake up on the ride home- plus the salting vehicles are clearly being driven by mad men.

Early Christmas presents

But let’s be real- what did we eat?! Well I made the Welsh Rarebit casserole from Vegan Casseroles. I have to say I was really surprised by how good it turned out! I was scared it would be terrible because the bread went stale- yikes, and I made the sauce ahead of time and it was super solid. But it all worked out. Some people didn’t like it though, the beer I picked out was VERY hoppy and bitter. I made the Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Grape Quinoa Salad from The Full Helping. If you are going to make a salad for a big party- this is a great one! I can’t remember if I doubled the recipe or not, but we had leftovers. I probably would of spent more time roasting the veggies, they were a little underdone. But the leftovers kept well, and it was easy to mix together the day of to bring up. Then for dessert I slaved away making the Beer Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Tart from Vegan Pie in the Sky. If you are thinking that you’ve never heard of that recipe that is because it is a modified recipe from the Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart. I don’t like to toot my own horn but I think this was the star of the party. Though I am not sure if I’ll be making it again anytime soon. It took a lot of time to make the crust and caramel. Lots of time spent on setting and waiting.

WOLFIE’S BIRTHDAY: I am hoping to write up a long post about the party for the blog. I think it was fun, and it would be nice to talk about hosting an all vegan party with people who might not dig all vegan food. What I can say is that everyone loved the cake! And I am waiting for my Father in Law to go through the photos on his camera. I forgot to put my memory card into mine. Yikes!

ILLNESS: Oh boy. There were a few people who came to Wolfie’s party who were almost over a cold. It wasn’t that big of a deal really. But then Jon got sick. It was a pretty mild cold. No big deal. Then I got sick. Still, no biggie, mild cold right? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I got so sick. I later found out that my Mother in Law got the same bad cold as well. And since it was the holiday season it just lingered. I was sick, and so anxious about all the things I had to do, cooking, wrapping, etc that I spent three nights in a row tossing and turning until 2-3 in the morning, and waking up between 5-6 for Wolfie. It was awful. I am just getting over it, so it has been over a week. Now my husband has the cold so, you know. Not fun.

Wolfie gets some cousin time on Christmas Eve. Take note of his hands- he is signing more… I guess more xylophone time plz

CHRISTMAS EVE & DAY: Well, since I was sick I skipped out Christmas Eve get together. Bummer. But I still spent the morning cooking, oddly. I kept it simple and made a Martha Washington Great Cake from American Cakes, but it crumbled out of the cake tin. It tasted awesome, but I need to tweak the recipe I guess. So I scrambled to make a Derby Pie from La Dolce Vegan! Let me tell you- it is a very ugly pie but soooo yummy! I also made the Tempeh Sweet Potato Shepards Pie from Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook. I didn’t try the pies until the next day, but both were amazing. Since I wasn’t there I only heard stories about what went on including a giant cousin bath tub session, Wolfie stealing a pacifier out of someone’s mouth, and kids dropping the f-bomb. 

Christmas Morning my Mother and Father in Law came over. We ended up having a bunch with leftover Tempeh Sweet Potato Pie and Tofu Scramble from Oh She Glows. I made Norske Kanelsnurrer (Norwegian Cinnamon Buns) from Seitan is my Motar. I liked how they weren’t as sweet and sticky as tradional buns, but I didn’t like how I couldn’t let it rise overnight. I can tweak the recipe, I am sure, but otherwise we didn’t get to eat these until past noon, past brunching time.

This was the first year I hosted Christmas dinner with MY side of the family. Usually we would spend Christmas morning with at my sister’s with my immediate family, then dinner with Jon’s parents. But we switched it around this year now that we have lil Wolfie. It occurred to me that Jon’s parents could stay for dinner, so they left so my family can exchange gifts, then came back for the dinner. So, I think we can say my family isn’t too keen on holiday foods. Like we have nothing against it, but we aren’t against straying away from it. So we ended up doing Indian food for dinner. My sister made some chicken dish (like a butter chicken), brought some frozen naan and samosas. My mother made the Makhani cauliflower dish from Vegan Richa and a spiced rice dish with peas. While I made masoor dal tadka via slow cooker and the famous Mango Tofu Curry. We were going to make more but forgot- got lazy- dunno. But we had plenty for 9 adults, and 3 children. It was pretty yummy. Dessert was pretty laid back, just cookies from my sister, and leftover derby pie.


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.


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.

Aunt Justine watched Gavin one night so Jon and I could have a “date night.” He slept like a lil angel for her.

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.


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.

It is too early to be happy about booze.

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.

Wolfie has discovered the joys of shoving things into his mouth. Too bad he isn’t very good at holding things and putting them into it.

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!!!

Wolfie is getting really good at holding things. He also likes to munch on the dino horn.

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.

This photo was taken the day after Alexa visited. This lil man is pissed that she’s gone.

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!!!*


Gosh, I am finally getting around to taking these photos. I actually had to “tidy” up the nursery a little. It is definitely more messy that what the photos show at any given point. Which I was a little surprised, I mean it is a baby, right? He can’t even lift his head up let alone leave things on the floor?! Well, turns out that I always have some food and water left out, and extra clothes laying around, or things fall down and I don’t pick them up since I have a baby in my hands.

But now I have photos, and I am happy to talk about some of the fun projects we did for the room. Let me start with basics. We painted the walls recently, and it took forever. We live in a row home in a housing development, which kind-of means the construction was a little half assed. The house isn’t falling apart, but when it comes to small details, the workers were more focused on speed not precision. So Jon had to a lot of work of the walls before we could actually paint it. Then we had to paint the ceiling all over again because the previous owners did a patch up and never painted it. *sigh*

We were pretty lucky that my sister never throws anything out. I am pretty much the opposite. If I am done using something I give it away. Rarely do I hold on to something until someone I know needs it (anyone in South Jersey need a window air conditioning unit? I got one!) But my sister kept her crib, changing table, rocking chair, and matching toy box. Even better- I looked it up and the crib wasn’t discontinued, though the company looks like they went out of business. We also got a lot of other goodies from her like toys, and books. So it has been very helpful, especially since I don’t like the idea of buying things for the baby when they will grow out of it.

Once the painting was done, and Jon and I started to set up the nursery we quickly realized we needed something put our lamp on. There was a lot of fights over this. I wanted to use an old bookshelf that I had from my parents house. My husband wanted nothing to do with it. But after checking the ReStore we kept striking out on a second hand side table, and buying a new one was too expensive. So we sanded and painted the bookshelf I originally wanted.

I really like it, and I think it grew on Jon once we finished the project. Oddly we aren’t using it for the lamp/side table for the rocking chair. I am actually using the toy chest, since Wolfie is too young for toys- at least for the toys we are keeping in the chest. That is fine since we seem to keep getting books from people and needed more space on the shelf. Which is nice, but I don’t want to get too many. If I remember with my nieces, kids really like hearing the same stories over and over again.

Since Jon wasn’t thrilled about the original bookshelf, he told his parents about our conundrum. We needed storage, but couldn’t afford anything that lives up to our personal quality standards. They suggested a certain shelf from The Container Store. They were going to surprise us with the shelf for Christmas, but when they saw the shelving units in person, Jon’s Father wasn’t thrilled about the quality. So he just built us a totally new one.

It has been really helpful, storing various goods in the drawers, and it also is home for the books that I read while breastfeeding or trying to rock the Nugget to sleep.

Speaking of rocking a nugget to sleep- let me talk about the rocking chair.

If you follow me on Instagram you might of seen this photo of Toulouse sleeping on the rocking chair. There is a cute fox pillow sitting next to her. It ain’t so cute anymore. It is now covered in lots of breastmilk and has been crushed into a rectangle. I tried looking to see if you could wash the pillow but it looks like it is only spot wash only. It will probably find it’s way into the wash anyways out of desperation. My kid is a messy eater, and it isn’t fun since 90% of the mess lands on my boobs, arms, and clothing. 

See that mirror? Yup another hand me down from my sister. I kind-of took it thinking it could go in the hallway and it was just way too big. Then I thought I could use hooks in the nursery. Thank god I thought of that because it has been insanely helpful. It holds all of many hats, booties, and his coat. There are so many little things that babies need that don’t quite store well. 

There were spots for photos in the shelf and I felt weird putting photos in there. Who would get those spots? Us? Grandparents? Photos of our kid? Finally I printed out watercolors of bears in the spots. If we come up with a better plan then they will get switched up. I also love the mirror because I can see myself when I stand around swaying the baby to sleep. It helps me to remember to take a shower from time to time. XD

There is something about babies and everyone making things. My Mom, her friends, Jon’s mother, and relatives are all busy knitting, sewing, and stitching. So we have a bunch of homemade gifts from family. My Mom pulled out old needlework canvases of Beatrix Potter characters since she wrote some of my favorite stories as a child. She had only finished the one of Mrs. Tiggiewinkle, which was my favorite character. Wolfie LOVES that picture. Well.. less of the embroider and more about the frame. Whenever I change him he just stares at the bottom of the frame. He even SMILED at the frame. My Mom also stitched the “napping” sign for our door that is on the top of the post.

Jon’s Aunt surprised us with some hand knitted toys. She gave us two little booties, which have been helpful as they are warm and stay on pretty well. She also made two cute hats (one that looks like a bear and another that looks like a cat) and he will be able to wear them pretty soon. They are smidge too large. She even made some cute little toys. I know Alexa plans on painting something for Wolfie’s room… so get on that gurl!

Finally we have these cute stuffed animals. We have gotten a bunch- but these are the cutest. My Mom found this posh fox toy at the Winterthur gift shop. He is nice a sturdy and will probably last forever and ever. That other posh toy? Well, it is from family friends from Canada er… Mississippi. Okay they are snow birds who go to Mississippi instead of Florida. They bought this cute white bear, with a note that he can be machine washed when Wolfie drags him in the mud. Again, I am so impressed with the quality. I hope he really likes this bear. 

Tip: If you have a friend who is having a baby- DO NOT BUY THEM A STUFFED ANIMAL! I love stuffed animals but geez do we have a ton of them. If you want to buy something cute and squishy, trying getting stuff combo toys. Kids LOVE the stuffed animals that are part blanket.

Well that’s the nursery. Eventually you will see a tour of our office and bedroom. Once we finish up putting up the shelves in the rooms… which might be forever XD


justborn

Here I am, 2 weeks later and just getting around to writing this post. It isn’t that I haven’t had time, but the time has been spent going to various places to visit family for the holidays. And if anyone knows, going anywhere with a baby takes time. So I have been writing this post a little bit here and a little bit there, so I am sorry if it sounds chunky, and is filled with spelling and grammatical errors (I’ve already tried to write fulled and grammerical, so you know.. sleep deprivation)

So I reached week 40 without giving birth. As I mentioned in the past post, I had been getting lots of signs that labor was drawing near. In fact, my patience was getting thin. My back was killing me, which was more or less a new symptom. The worst part were the contractions. I was getting them almost every night but they weren’t consistent, and would go away after an hour or so. So when I went to the doctors for my 40th week visit, they checked me again, and said that I was 5cm dilated and pretty much ready to deliver. I was asked if I would be interested in scheduling an induction, and I said yes, thinking it would be towards the end of the week.

I get a phone call- I would be induced the next day- Tuesday. It suddenly seemed like a bad idea to get an induction. I had a feeling it I wouldn’t need it, that I would magically go into labor that afternoon. The contractions were starting to kind-of be regular. I tried to keep a level head, and go about my business. I told Jon about my suspicion that I might be in real labor, so he naturally starts worry about the mattress. “What if your water breaks? We should put some plastic under the sheets.” Even though we all have seen TV shows where the character has their water break in public and they sopping wet pants. Everything I’ve read reassured that doesn’t happen often so I brushed off Jon’s recommendations as silly. I tossed and turned all night with various pains, when all the sudden I felt something odd, and I knew exactly what it was. I bolted up from the bed scream “MY WATERS BREAKING” trying to make it to the bathroom so I wouldn’t ruin the bed or the carpet (just barely made it guys.) Yup, I had that over the top water breaking moment.

We rushed over to the hospital as soon as we could, and I was nervous about making it in time. Suddenly my contractions were 8-20 minutes apart to a short 3 minutes apart. When we finally make it to our delivery room, I find out that I am 7 cm. So I figured I was in great condition, I was pretty far along, and still handling the pain. What I didn’t take into consideration was how uncomfortable I was. My back pain was unbearable, and laying down on the bed was excruciating. It made breathing very problematic, and I wasn’t so nervous about the pain as I was about hyperventilating. So by the time I broke down and asked the epidural I was 9 cm, and luckily my Mother was around to explain to the nurses that it would be a good idea (the first thing I hear from people is that they are surprised they even gave me the epidural this late.) The only thing that made me sad was that I had to sit up to get the spinal tap and shifting positions completely took away most of the pain from the contractions. I was just in too much pain to even think about changing positions. 

I can say I am glad I got the epidural. I think I would of delivered the baby faster with one, but I think I would of had less control of my actions. Which would of been more wear and tear on my body. I do have to say it sucked to have completely numb legs that I had no control over. It did take awhile to figure out how to push when you have no feeling in your lower half of your body. The other aspects weren’t as big of a deal, though I might of been more embarrassed about it if I hadn’t experienced the pain of the contractions for so long. In fact, since we didn’t really look too much into deliveries with epidurals, Jon got wrangled into holding up my leg for the delivery, which he handled very well considering.

So after 8 hours of being in the hospital and 45 minutes of pushing, on Tuesday, December 13th at 8 am, I gave birth to a baby boy. He came out screaming and peed almost immediately on the nurses, so I am pretty sure he healthy but a trouble maker. Just like my sneaking suspicions, I had a big baby weighing in at 8 pounds and 13 ounces, and measured at 21 3/4 inches in length. 

I don’t think the gravity of being pregnant sank in until the plopped a piping hot wet baby on my chest after giving birth. They took him away shortly afterwards to weigh and clean him up (that’s when he peed on everyone.) When they brought him back for our hour skin to skin time, one of the first things I noticed was his very hairy back. It was in fact a full moon as well. Jon and I laughed because one of the names we liked was Wolfgang. We decided to not go for it since it was quite an unusual name, but since we have a unique last name, and for privacy reasons, I will choose to call him Wolfie on the blog. 

So what does this mean for the blog? Well, let’s be real, it might be awhile since I talk about food again. At one point I was so stressed that I was getting nauseous whenever I ate. I still do. I have to eat small amounts all day, and even still I worry if I am getting enough calories since I’ve lost roughly 17-20 pounds in two weeks, although most women do loose 10 pounds after delivery, and 17 pounds by week 6.

This blog is partly a journal for myself, and partly to give information to other people. So I will be talking about my kid, and tips for vegan parents and such. There are still some posts I want to write about vegan pregnancy. I also want to create a space for vegan parents to check out. It seems that a lot of vegan parenting blogs are a little “granola crunchy” and it can be hard for some people to relate to that. But I don’t want to exclusively talk about babies and kids, and maybe strike a balance like Bonzai Aphrodite.

So if the next few months I am babies all the time, sorry. It is a little hard when your time is so broken up. But we are already starting to get longer nap times, and things seems like they are getting a little more stable (keyword here is seems.) Hopefully in two weeks I will have an update with a rough outline of the first month of Wolfie’s life.


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Nursery

Okay, still now official photos of the nursery yet! Maybe soon. I have a feeling technically it won’t be “finished” until the baby gets in there. Part of the reason was that painting the bookshelf took longer than what Jon anticipated. It has a lot of nooks and crannies and it really hurt his back, and as I sized it up with my eyes, I really wasn’t sure if my body was going to be flexible enough to paint it myself.

All there is left to do is still just to let the bookshelf cure, then put crap on it. Then hang a few things. Then that’s it. Part of the problem is that we kind-of don’t want to hang stuff up late at night and bother our neighbors. But who knows, maybe we will be impatient about it and I can share photos before going into labor.

Anytime Now

So I went in for my check up Monday morning. Almost al my visits are super fast and quick. I am low risk, I didn’t have too many symptoms that I found disruptive. Sleeping has been mostly awesome, heartburn is there but never persistent, I get decent exercise just by standing all day at work, and I never got sick to my stomach. Well, the nurse told me to undress from the waist down for the midwife. Sure enough when the midwife came in she went through the normal checks, and was about to finish up, then noticed you know, I had no pants on.

“Did you want me to check your cervix?”

“I was just listening to the nurse before hand… if you think it is unnecessary then we can skip it”

I guess she figured might as well, and I am a little glad she did. Apparently I am already starting to dilate. Naturally this is getting my butt into gear and getting some stuff done around the house, like finally putting together the hospital bag, buying newborn onsies (was waiting for a sale, but that isn’t happening), and writing some thank you notes. I told my Mom and family members, and they are convinced I will be going into labor this week.

I went to work on Tuesday and just felt EXHAUSTED. I was feeling so many early labor symptoms, braxon hicks contractions, crampiness, and sore back. Then Wednesday morning my mucus plug came out, which further prompted everyone to stress that I would be going into labor at any moment now. So here I am on Thursday, still not in labor, so I am starting to feel very anxious.

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The Belly

“Did they tell you if you dropped yet?” That’s the first question I always get from my husband when I go to the doctors. I don’t think they would ever know, because I’ve actually dropped and I don’t really look like it. I can feel the baby is lower, mostly because my belly rubs on my legs whenever I drive. There are other things, mostly that suddenly a lot of basic things have become MUCH more uncomfortable, like sitting on the floor or getting up. 

Other things I’ve noticed, my belly button is officially in the out position. For the longest time it was either an innie or outie if my core was engaged or not. Now it is out 24/7 and it is a little weird. XD I’ve also noticed a few stretch marks on my stomach. A little bit of a bummer since I was stretch mark free for so long, but whatever. Nothing that I could really do about it.

Boney Butt

One thing that doctors have been doing at my appointments is that they are feeling my stomach to get an idea where the baby is located. My last visit was with a midwife, who felt what I call “the knobby bit.” On the top of my tummy the baby keeps poking the top right corner, and often will be a visible bulge. I find it gross. Well it was kind-of nice to get some vindication when the midwife made a slightly horrified face saying “what is this hard bit?” After a pause she checked lower and felt around, and was reassured that the head was on the bottom. Apparently, her guess that “the knobby bit” is just a very boney butt. Great. Our child has Jon’s boney butt. Okay, his butt isn’t that boney, just compared to mine XD

Animals

These past few weeks have been a little weird- week 38 is a Pomeranian and week 39 is an American Shorthair Cat which can be misleading. I am fairly certain my cat is going to be MUCH larger than our baby. The Pomeranian is hard to imagine since they are so fluffy. Like is my baby fluffy Pomeranian sized? Or alopecia Pomeranian sized?

Exercise

I’ve been working out again! I’ve been trying to do a workout a day, but you know, some days get skipped. But I am trying to do one round of a 20 minute barre workout. I figure the endurance muscle exercises will be good for delivery day. But I only do one round because I am a little paranoid about exhausting my muscles for when I DO go to labor.

I also have been walking around a lot when doing errands. I try not to think of errands as working out, but with all these early labor symptoms, it really does feel like a workout. I never park my car close to the door, which is a little bit out of habit. I might also try and convince Jon to go for a walk around the neighborhood at night and look at the Christmas lights, to help speed things along. I am not sure that will ACTUALLY help, but it does feel like a little bit of a “no pain no gain” mentality. 


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I had a hunch that Thanksgiving would kill my Vegan MOFO mojo. And it did! XD It is pretty typical, especially since Thanksgiving rings in my panic mode of trying to get things done. It is hard not to do this because I am so use to working retail and knowing that I will be working more hours. But I guess there isn’t too much of a difference since I will be panicing to get everything done around the house before delivery day. I guess the plan is to finished the planned Vegan MOFO posts. So they will be delayed but whatever.

Thanksgiving

I am not kidding when I say I woke up on Thanksgiving, drove to Wegman’s to get a new loaf of bread for stuffing (mine got too stale), got a treat of a latte, then cooked until 12. Then I got to take a “break” by driving an hour to my parents, then stood around to make appetizers. Sat down a little for the parade, then cooked until dinner time. And then I worked the next day. XD I told my boss what my Thanksgiving was like and he just looked at me, then my stomach, then my face again with a look of disgust. Oddly standing around all day didn’t occur to me as a bad thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Then of coarse the next few days I’ve been all on my feet. I went into Philly for the V Marks the Spot Vegan Pop Up Shop, and Sunday was running around getting groceries and Christmas gifts. And today I had to go for my 38 week check up at the doctors.

Oh BTW- best part of the Thanksgiving Day parade was CLEARLY when Tony Bennet almost fell on top of Miss Piggy.

Nursery

It’s almost there. I swear next pregnancy update will have lots of photos of a nursery! We got my sister’s old rocking chair, and my Father brought it in. Now, I am not sure if I mentioned on the blog, but my Father is good at enthusiastically lifting things, but not so good at moving things in a controlled manner. This has involved many dents with the walls in our new home. And I knew that my husband spent FOREVER patching up spots in the nursery, so when my Father wheeled in the rocking chair I cleared out a path for him to put it in living room. Good old Dad had a clear path but managed to 1) ram into our old desk and 2) make a nice new dent in the living room walls. Eventually Jon’s Father came over to help carry it into the nursery, and my sisters helped bring over the old toy box.

So what is left? Still some artwork to hang and I need to put together a little mobile with messed up mat board clouds that I got from work. I am not sure fully how I will hang them together yet. Also Jon is painting our last piece of furniture- a small bookshelf for all the books to read at night and for our pretty night light. We are hoping it will be finished painting and curing by the end of the week.

Christmas

Yes, I am thinking ahead to Christmas. I already made plans with Alexa and Justine to come over and help decorate our Christmas tree. I love having the Christmas decorations up but this way we can enjoy the tree and know it is up before the baby comes…. which honestly could be any moment now. I keep hearing from people about how baby sometimes comes a week or two early, and truthfully I am slightly nervous, since my sister delievered her first daughter a month early (they were able to delay the labor, only to have her be delievered a week early still)

I also have been trying to get as much Christmas shopping done now. I got I think about half of it done, there is a few homemade gifts that I will be making, and I haven’t started that at all yet. So…. you know. 

Animal Size

For week 36 the baby is the size of a Chihuahua dog. Truthfully, I don’t like this breed. No it isn’t because they are small or “yippie” but because I think they are very aggressive dogs and since they are small and cute, people let them get really nasty. But I will admit- I do think Long Haired Chihuahuas are super cute- especially in Santa hats.

Supposedly at week 37 the baby is the size of a striped skunk…. which seems wrong. I mean I thought skunks were pretty big? But I guess maybe not? I do have to admit- baby skunks are really stinkin cute!

Waiting Game

Now it is all down to waiting I guess. I am still working, and trying to get as much done. We have SO many frame jobs, and I am only working a few more weeks. I am feeling a little stressed, even though it technically isn’t my problem. XD And to put in perspective how big a frame job we have coming up, let’s just say about 100+ frames need to be done by sometime in January. I have no plans of coming back until February. I am just assuming I will be super sleep deprived.

I should put together my hospital pack, and pretty much only put together what the baby can wear home from the hospital. XD I know I should be better about these things, but there is something in the back of my head that is just like “meh, I’ll pack it when I go into labor, whatever.” But I know I should get a few things in there- like magazines, snacks, slippers, you know stuff I don’t actually use while at home.

I am more interested in booze. Yes, I feel like I am always talking about it. I really wanted a drink during Thanksgiving since it is a time to have a special drink. I also can’t wait till I have some spiked egg nog. And today I bought a bottle of beer, sitting in the fridge, for when we get back from the hospital for celebratory drink.


ironshake0

Okay, I know this is a stretch for the prompt. It is suppose to be something grey, which is actually pretty hard to make. I guess I could make biscuits and gravy, but that’s a regional meal that have never looked appetizing to me. But the prompt made me think right away when I worked at Animo. The owner Joe, would get there pretty early, around 5 or 6, with a 30 minute drive. So he usually asked one of the workers to make his morning smoothie.

Well, since he owned the shop, he went NUTS on the add ons. One day we figured out the price of his smoothie, and I think ended up being something like $16 smoothie. So what was in it? I remember it being something like a cup of unsweetened almond milk, a scoop of spiru-tein, spirulina, an acai puree packet, a banana, fresh strawberries, and sprouted flax seed. I kid you not when I say the drink was cement grey. But as you can see- there are lots of expensive ingredients!

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My drink is still pretty intense, but not as pricey. I have pumped it with lots of awesome foods that are perfect for any pregnant lady. For starters I have a soy milk base that is high in protein, but is fortified in lots of goodies. I am getting most of my calcium from the milk, and sure it is fortified, but cow’s milk sold for humans has been fortified with vitamins and minerals as well (particularly skim milk). I have also found that soy milks are now often fortified with B12, which is a nice add on. And if anyone is wondering why calcium is such a big deal, it is pretty much the only thing that a baby “leeches” from the body. A good diet while pregnant is always strongly encouraged because what you eat makes a different of what the baby eats. If you don’t eat much vitamin K, the baby isn’t going to take if from your body. For some reason calcium is different. Technically pregnant women don’t require more calcium, but if you aren’t hitting your daily requirements, you might want to start focusing on your intake.

Then we have the more “supplemented” foods that I add in- spirulina and DHA omega-3s. Many studies show that DHA helps with brain development with children, and that is partly why you have so many people saying to eat fish while pregnant. But vegans can cut out the middle man and just jump to the direct source of DHA- algae! I toss in 10 drops of Deva’s DHA liquid vitamins. To be perfectly clear, we as humans make our own DHA. Some people speculate that it is possible that humans can’t produce enough DHA during certain times, like if you are sick or pregnant. So I take the better safe than sorry approach. You can easily leave out this ingredient.

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If you have read my spirulina page, you will know that algae is really high in iron. This is perfect for a pregnant lady who needs a whopping 27mg of iron! To put that into perspective, most women who haven’t gone through menopause need 18mg, and most everyone else needs only about 10mg or less. So it is helpful to pack a big punch in one food source. One teaspoon of spirulina powder gives 7mg of iron!

Where else am I getting the iron? Well, chocolate! Yes, chocolate has lots of iron in it, but it often isn’t talked about because we normally make desserts with chocolates. This smoothie doesn’t have much added sugar or fats, so it is a healthy way to eat lots of cocoa. I like to use a mix of cocoa- one tablespoon of normal cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of special dark chocolate. The special dark helps keep a “chocolate” color next to the greens, but it usually has higher levels of iron than regular cocoa. So that adds 4mg of iron. What’s next? Greens! I switch the greens I add to my smoothie according to what looks good at the store. Sometimes chard, sometimes collards, sometimes kale. Whatever really. That will usually add about 1-3mg of iron.

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Now this shake isn’t the only way to add lots of iron to your diet. The Full Helping has a great page devoted to the specifics of iron intake, and great combos to build up your iron intake. I strongly recommend checking that out if this is something that concerns you. Keep in mind that many pregnant women, vegan or not have problem with low iron levels. Between my two blood work tests, I have never been told I test for low iron levels. I think I have this shake to thank.

So what’s the nutrition? Well, funny thing is that keep forgetting that I am pregnant, so I added some nutritional facts on the blog earlier for Vegan MOFO, and the percentages are wrong since they are calibrated for my pregnancy needs. Oops. But I will keep that since I am promoting this drink as one perfect for pregnancy! Quick macros- 47 grams of carbs (14 grams fiber, half of the daily requirements), 10 grams fat (100% omega-3, not including the DHA supplements), and 17 grams of protein (almost 30 grams if you add two tablespoons protein powder). I left the screen capped specs below, and take note that the percentages are for a 9 month pregnant lady, so if you are an average woman, you are probably getting most of your iron from this shake (the suggested for women ages 18-40 is only 18mg, everyone else needs about 8-10mg)

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