Chomp Chomp

Today we took R and J to the dentist. R has been before, and this was J’s first trip. Before I go any further, I should explain. My family has had a history of dental issues. My grandma had all of her teeth removed by the time she was 17. She said it was the hugest relief ever. My mom had dental issues, so many toothaches. I had to have all four of my front teeth removed when I was three. R had all his four front teeth removed when he was two. J has decay on her front teeth, too. It’s almost as if they grow in that way. So I am wary of dentists, having seen many over the years. The last office I took R to was horrible. The kids are all in the same room, and the dentists don’t seem to listen. It’s one of the low income offices, so they treat us all like we have no idea what we are talking about. We tried a different dentist today, one who has been in practice for probably 30 years. It was a breath of fresh air. We told him about the kids’ diet, and that we exclude sugar, soda, and junk food. We discussed what we do feed them and learned a lot. We are now going to omit coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave, and any dried fruit from their diet. That is tough. I am ready for this challenge, though. To me, it means we need to lean towards more raw foods, especially when it comes to goodies for the kids. Instead of crackers, I will give them homemade flax crackers. Instead of dehydrated mangoes, fresh mangoes. And so on. It will be a little bit more of a challenge when it comes to birthdays, but I have at least five different raw cookbooks that have cake and pie recipes. I have to research what to do instead of dates and agave nectar in those recipes, but I know we can do it. I am going to cut back on pasta, bread, and other starchy foods. I am determined to help our kids have the best health on all levels. Little R does need to have a couple teeth pulled, but his big person teeth with be coming in soon, anyway. It’s exciting and a little scary, but we can do it!

Vegan Parties and Lazy Sunday Mornings

D and I always joke that our relationship is backwards. What we mean is that we started everything in reverse…..we jumped into family life together after our third date, each of us already having a kid from previous relationships. R was only three months old and miss Z was six years old. We then had a baby together four years later, and now we are planning our wedding. By the time our kids have left the nest, I guess we will be at the dating phase….with a lot more “us” time.

Last night we had a birthday party for D. He will be 42 in a couple of days. Like all of our parties, it was family friendly. Someone brought beer, but nobody got sloshed. Usually, our parties wrap up by ten. Everyone has a good time, though. We had about nine guests and then the five of us. I didn’t serve dinner this year at the party. We had our vegan chimichangas before everyone got there. I veganized my brother-in-law’s chimichangas. It is one of D’s favorites.  I fill mine with rice and beans, sometimes adding vegan cheese. After they are fried,  I top them with salsa, lettuce, and some type of vegan sour cream. Last night I made a cashew sour cream, which is really easy. It consists of  cashews, lemon, water, and salt. I had a little of the sour cream left over, so I served that with salsa and chips for the party. People really liked it.

The people who come to our parties aren’t all vegan. Besides us, our neighbors are usually the only other vegans. I used to worry that people wouldn’t like the food I served. I don’t worry about that anymore. I often don’t get a piece of cake because everyone else loves it so much. D always requests my chocolate chip cookie cake. It is really the chocolate chip bars from How It All Vegan. I then top it with some sort of chocolate frosting. This year, I made the one I have been raving about in my previous posts. It is super easy, too. I melt coconut oil, and combine that with cocoa powder and maple syrup in a blender. So good. It was a big hit this year. The cake was a bit gooey, but everyone seemed to like it that way. Now it’s time to plan Z’s party, which is in a couple of weeks. It’s a little harder to please the pre-teen crowd, but I haven’t had any complaints yet. One year, she requested split pea soup for her birthday dinner. I didn’t think it would go over very well, but there wasn’t any left after the party.

So here I sit, eating my breakfast which is really more like brunch, considering it’s almost noon. This has become a tradition here on Sundays. We are all home, we don’t have any commitments, so why not. I usually either make pancakes or french toast. Vegan french toast is really easy to make, it consists of chickpea flour, almond milk, and arrowroot,  I whisk it together and dip my bread in it, then fry it on my cast-iron skillet.  Served with Earth Balance and maple syrup, it is so good.  The kids have already devoured theirs, so I get to sit here and eat and enjoy some “me” time.

Getting Back to Normal(Whatever That Is)

Tomorrow, R and Z go back to school and I go back to work. My sugar took Z back to her mom’s house this afternoon, which is always hard. Time goes by so fast when she is here, and the house feels a little bit emptier when she leaves. She lives a couple hours away, so it’s not like we can just pop over for a visit during the week. The good news is we should be able to bring her here more often, as our financial situation seems to be looking up. More money means more gas, which means more Z time.

R and I spent some time this afternoon making snacks for him for school. Not only is he vegan, but also sugar-free(dental issues)…..which can make snack time an issue if Mama doesn’t stay on top of it and send sweet snacks with him. Thank goodness his teacher is now putting his classmates’ birthdays on the calender that she sends home…….I can make him cupcakes for those days so he doesn’t feel left out. He is so awesome about it, though. He has grown up this way, and has been to parties where he can’t eat anything served there. Yet he doesn’t cry or have too much of an attitude about it. He knows why we do what we do. I still want him to feel part of things…….and food is so important, especially in social gatherings. So I have been working hard at planning ahead and coming in prepared.

We made some yummy oat bars with my favorite, coconut sugar, and sugar-free preserves(made with xylitol)from Nature’s Hollow. After they are done, we will whip up a batch of granola, and that should be good for now.

It is going to be strange at first getting back into the school groove. I want to have dinner made and R’s lunch packed  before 7 pm. Then it’s bath/shower time for both R and J, teeth brushed, outfits for the next day picked out, and bedtime by 8 pm. We have been doing it all school year, but it’s really easy to fall out of the routine after 3 weeks of vacation time. We have gotten used to staying up until almost midnight and getting up around ten or eleven. I know it’s going to hurt getting up at six tomorrow morning, and R will not enjoy getting up at seven.

Even though D and J will be home all day tomorrow, they still have their schedule, too. D is a writer, so he will be busy with that, housework, and taking care of J. She will have a busy day playing, playing, and more playing. She has had some tummy troubles today, with a lot of poopy diapers, and hopefully she will be better by tomorrow. I have been giving her almond yogurt for the probiotics and if it continues, miso broth. She has nursed a lot today, too.

I also should get an answer tomorrow about the job I applied for at R’s school. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Back to the "grind"....he he he!

Back to the “grind”….he he he!