Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday...

Thanks for tuning in to this week's FTTMMHF post! This week, I decided to make a little collage...

  1. I finally made a Vegan Meal everyone liked  loved and I am proud of! I am not a fan of processed foods and I think that's why I was starting to get super bummed about this new way of eating... we were relying on a lot of those vegan frozen fake meats. There are a few of those that are yummy, but they definitely should not be the main things to plan your meals around... so this Mac and Cheeze recipe can be found here. It was the most involved macaroni and cheese I've ever made, but it's worth it. I doubled the recipe so we could have leftovers. (smartie)
  2. Tea Parties. ;)  Zoie loves her Toca Boca Tea Party app. And she says "tooka bookah" sooooo cute. It makes me smile every time she says it.
  3. Roxy got a hold of the iPad and 'Drew Something' for Christopher. It happens a bunch, but this particular drawing was so good, so detailed, he questioned whether it was Roxy or I. Really, the only thing that gave it away that it was Roxy and not me was the way she draws her hearts. It's kind of her signature.
  4. Our pool is almost swim ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The kids are excited and I'm excited and Zoie is going to be so cute in the pool this year!
  5. It's the weekend and I have NO PLANS! What?!??!? This hasn't happened for a while.  I'm kind of lost with what I should do with myself. I'm sure we'll get into something fun. :)

So, that's me. What is making you happy today? Let me know in my comments below.

Have a great weekend peeps!


<3, Tabi :D
 
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Committed to try anything for the sake of my family...


I just got home from picking up a copy of The Sexy Vegan from the library. While I had to Google half the ingredients involved, I am totally inspired. Even Pinterest couldn't tempt me with their vegan concoctions, but this book did the trick. The pictures inside made me hungry where I thought only real cow cheesy filled pictures could.

I just made a shopping list for one of the recipes and, boy is it ambitious. For the Fried Seitan (pronounced Satan, Chris Googled it) recipe, there are two prior prep recipes involved.

Anything for my littles...

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tonight's vegan adventure... Mac & Cheeze.

<3, Tabi :D

Monday, March 26, 2012

Goal List and a bunch of Random Shtuff...

Who doesn't love a baby in oversized sunglasses?
Get ready for a bunch of random. I'm feeling very random today and unfocused. How about you?

In my head I feel like I have so much going on. Yet when people ask me what I do, why do I always feel I have to ham it up and prove I'm not a lazy stay at home Mom?

Do you remember that terrible feeling you used to get in high school that maybe you liked someone more than they liked you? Sometimes I still feel this way (in my marriage). But only sometimes. I know it's an irrational feeling. I know deep down, my husband and I share a deep mutual adoration... Anyways, I can't figure out if it's a good feeling or just means I'm doomed to forever be insecure.

I am LOVING Lily Allen lately. But her Spotify station is a bit too Lillith Faire for me...

Spring Break made me crave Summer Break even more. Kids all day, pool time, no school, smoothies every day at lunch time....

Anyways, just a few thoughts that trampled through my mind this morning... here are some goals I'm working on this week:
  • To make a grocery shopping list to include at least 5 healthy, well balanced meals that everyone can eat (Dairy Free and Meat Free). This is one I've been procrastinating on for like 2 weeks now. Here's one recipe I'm definitely going to try out.
  • To clean out Roxy's/Zoie's room. It is getting out of hand. Really, it is.
  • To tie up some loose ends and get the ball rolling on our bankruptcy filing.
  • To finish up and mail out my Busy Bags.
  • Four days at the gym. (Maybe 5? I'd like to sneak in a rock climb on Thursday with my sweetie again.)
  • Get Christopher to give the van a good cleaning. It kind of smells like feet.
  • Fill out the huge stack of papers and get them turned in for Riley's VPK school (he's starting in August - eep! They grow so fast... my little baby Bear.)
<3, Tabi :D

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2 weeks and counting. On being vegetarian...

Becoming a vegetarian at a time when we are new at coming up with dairy free meals that everyone enjoys is difficult (dairy free, since we recently learned Riley Bear has a moderate milk allergy). It's practically vegan. I know some people consider feeding vegan food to children as 'child abuse'. If you are one of these people, please stop reading my blog post right now.

So, two weeks ago, my Roxy and I had a very emotional dinner discussion about where our food comes from. Two days after that conversation, she decided she didn't want to feel bad about eating animals anymore and she was ready to make the decision to be a vegetarian. And she has stuck to her guns on it. (I'm so proud of her conviction.)

From my point of view, people have many varied reasons for being a vegetarian:
  • For health reasons,
  • For moral reasons,
  • For the sake of a loved one...
Roxy's reason is 100% moral. She does NOT think it's okay to take another living being's life, just so that she can have dinner.

My reason is really a mixture of all three. I want to be healthy, and most vegetarians are skinny, right? My moral reason mostly stems from the way the animals are treated at the slaughterhouse. More like things than living creatures. Plus, the issue of their diets and steroids, etc... <I'm sure I could be way more educated on this matter, I've watched Food, Inc. Isn't that enough?> Roxy's moral conviction absolutely pushed me over the edge. We were already cutting meat out more and more, so it wasn't a hard decision at all for me to go all the way veg.

Chris' reason is 100% for the sake of a loved one. He vows to still eat meat when he can and when Roxy is not around. I'm okay with that.

I've also found out that dining out with a milk allergy kid is hard. Most of the time, his only choice is meat. So we make an exception for him also. A kid's got to eat!

Mostly, it makes me feel good that Roxy made a decision and we are supporting her 100% on it.

Saying all that... if anyone reading this wants to share some successful/yummy vegetarian/dairy free recipes... PLEASE DO!!

Here's our list off successful dinners so far:

  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce
  • Veggie Fried Rice
  • Baked Potatoes with Bacos and fake cheese + Broccoli
  • Fake Chik'n nuggets or Boca Burgers with Fries

I need variety. This will not do! 

<3, Tabi :D

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Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday...

... that I found on my computer yesterday.






Photo Booth Rocks!!


<3, Tabi :D
 
P.S.  Don't forget to vote for me on Top Baby Blogs!! Please click on the banner below to vote for me, then click on the cute owl on the left for a positive vote... Or if you didn't like my blog, click on the little owl on the right. :(

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Parent Tip #105

Let grandparents be grandparents
and let them spoil the children.
 
 
It's what makes them happy and it's what makes happy kiddos. So just let it be. 
 
It's so much fun to see the excitement go down.

<3, Tabi :D

 
 
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday...

... a day late (but I have a doctors' note!).

Isn't she the cutest? Graham cracker face and all.
  1. I haven't puked since 5 a.m. on Friday morning!!!!!!
  2. My Mom, Dad and Lala are due to arrive here in a short few hours!! (I haven't seen them since last August.)
  3. I got to the top of the rock wall at the Y! Maybe it was the 2nd easiest one there and 5 year olds can do it, but I seriously had a lot of self doubt.
  4. I can officially call the weaning a success! I'm happy about it, not even bittersweet. We made it to 18 months and we were both ready at the same time. (It's been 9 days now, and my boobs feel normal again! whoo!)
  5. It's St. Patrick's Day! We plan to: wear green, eat at least one piece of artificially dyed green food and be on the lookout for non green wearers to pinch.


<3, Tabi :D





Back from the Brink of Death to Bring You Spring Break Pictures

(maybe I exaggerate, sometimes)

I spent the entire day in bed yesterday, except for when I was in the bathroom. I can't remember the last time I felt so crappy. But so far, I'm feeling much better today. Cross your fingers it stays that way.

On Tuesday morning, the kids and I drove over to invade my girl Becky's vacation in Kissimmee. We had a blast and stayed until we had to come back for Roxy's dance class on Thursday evening. Here are some pictures I snapped.

(Becky, you MUST send me some of yours, I know you took 3 times as many as I did.)


Her resort had sunshine, parks and pools. My kids and her kids got along grand, and I even got some much needed catch up time with my old BFF from back home in Maryland. <3


Wednesday evening, they took us to the cutest little carnival called 'Old Town'. The kids had SO much FUN!! Roxy rode a roller coaster (which is a very brave Roxy), Riley loved the motorcycles, Zoie and Hailey had a blast on the teacups.

I was amazed by how much my kids' connected with the Griffith's. Zoie even allowed Justin to talk to her (see bottom right picture)!! Roxy and Kyle held hands and talked like teenagers much of our visit. (Becky, did you get a hand holding picture?)

It was fate they came down the same week as our Spring Break! I'm so glad it worked out. I hope it's not another 2 years before I get to see them again. 2 years is too long!

<3, Tabi :D

 
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Headed Out


We are leaving homebase today. Just me and the kids... I'm a little bit nervous and excited at the same time. I haven't taken a trip or spent a night away from Christopher in 2 years, my very first time with 3 children in tow.

It's only for a couple of days and only a short distance away.

But, we are going to have so much fun!

Until Friday, blogland. xo

<3, Tabi :D


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Today

 
  • Today I'm trying to relax a little, but I'm having a tough time. I get bored easily.
  • The kids (the 3 oldest) have been playing Mario Party on/off pretty much all day on the Game Cube.
  • As of the time of me writing this post (2:00 pm, Saturday), Zoie Rainbow has not nursed for 42 hours. My boobs are starting to feel a little full, but it's going surprisingly well. I thought this moment would feel bittersweet to me, but honestly it feels more sweet than bitter right now. Is it possible we were both ready to stop at the same time??
  • I made Dairy Free Nutella Brownies. Using this recipe for the 'Nutella' and this recipe for the brownies. mmmmm.... brownies.
  • The baby is sleeping next to me, and snoring. She sounds like a tiger kitten. <3
  • Cameron ate the last piece of vegan pizza we had leftover from Mellow Mushroom for lunch and didn't even say it tasted weird. (If you didn't know, Cameron is the pickiest eater on the planet!)
  • I should be packing or at least making a list of what to bring on my invasion of Becky's Kissimmee vacation, but I'm not. Why do I hate packing so much? Last minute packer to the death.
  • The only thing I can think I'd like to watch on TV is The United States of Tara on Netflix, but alas, it is not child appropriate. 
  • I'm wondering after the weaning is complete, what size my boobs will end up being. Shall I start taking wagers?
  • I wish I had a bicycle. With a seat for the ZoBo. I'm dreaming of family bike rides.

Have a wonderful Saturday! xoxo

<3, Tabi :D

 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday...

... about Spring Break!!!

Basking in the sun....
Woo! Spring Break is officially here! Why am I so excited, you ask?

Well, I'll tell you five reasons why:
  1. Becky Pyles. er. Becky Griffith. One of my BFF's from up in MD is coming down to my town (well, my state) and I get to invade her vacation for a few days. It's been almost TWO YEARS since I've seen this chick. I am SO EXCITED!!!
  2. Vitamin D. It's beautiful outside and I am planning on exposing my pasty skin to some good ol' Florida sunshine.
  3. One week of not fighting against nature to get Roxy to school on time. Poor Roxy, she got her Momma's 'always late' genes. And possibly most likely (or maybe this one is learned and not inherited), my lack of 'morning person' skills.
  4. Bathing Suit Wearing. I have been busting my a$$ at the gym (and loving it). It's truth time. Will I actually feel comfortable in public in a bathing suit? I'm kind of excited to find out.
  5. BECKY MOTHER EFFING PYLES!!!! Oh, and getting all our kidlets together. It's gonna be so cool. :D


 <3, Tabi :D

P.S.  Don't forget to vote for me on Top Baby Blogs!! Please click on the banner below to vote for me, then click on the cute owl on the left for a positive vote... Or if you didn't like my blog, click on the little owl on the right. :(

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Mommy Super Power is...


I came to the realization the other day that, with 3 and 1/2 kids and two adults in the house, at some point we our laundry should have hit the 'out of control' status I hear so much about on Facebook.

It never has. I don't put much effort into our laundry, it doesn't overwhelm me. I just wash clothes Mondays and Fridays, Tuesdays are sheets and beddings and when I'm done washing and folding, I put the clean, fresh smelling stuff away. That's it. There's my secret.

But! and here's the realization part, since I do have so many kids and a husband and my laundry is tackled with ease, I realized that this (laundry) MUST be my Mommy Super Power.

I'm not going to lie, I kind of wish it was something way cooler, but hey! I'll take what I can get.

Now, I want to know: what is your Mommy Super Power?
Go on, tell me in the comments below. :)

Maybe we can form some sort of Mommy Super Power Alliance to help out other families with our collective Super Power Talents....

<3, Tabi :D

P.S.  Don't forget to vote for me on Top Baby Blogs!! Please click on the banner below to vote for me, then click on the cute owl on the left for a positive vote... Or if you didn't like my blog, click on the little owl on the right. :(

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Meatless Monday

Ponyo loves HAM!!
(image found on a Google search for: ponyo ham)
I'm not saying this happens every single Monday, but most Mondays around here, we have a meatless dinner. Hence, Meatless Mondays. I didn't invent it - it's a new craze. Seriously, google it.

So tonight we were eating the veggie fried rice I cooked up and having some dinner conversation. I noticed Roxy picking through and eating all the eggs up first. She looks at me and asks if we are wasting all the baby chick's lives because we are eating the eggs. (She's a smart one, this one. And so compassionate!)

I explained a little about fertilized and unfertilized eggs and assured her that the eggs we were eating, were definitely not baby chicks. She felt better.

... for about 10 seconds...

Then she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "And then the farmer kills the Mommy chickens so we can eat chicken for dinner! We are wasting their lives!"

She started crying sobbing. I started crying.

There was talk about we need to figure out how to make the farmers stop killing the animals just so we could eat them. Something about a Food President making the farmers stop (because there must be a food president). In between tears, she even said God doesn't want us to waste their lives...

If my Roxy wants to stop wasting the animals lives, then I will become a full time vegetarian. No problemo. In a heartbeat.

I explain: what we can do to make a difference is to stop buying meat at the grocery store. The less meat that people buy at the grocery store, the fewer animals the farmers will have to kill/waste their lives (her term).

She thought about that for a few seconds, then started crying again. :(

"But I love ham soooo much!"

My poor baby is torn. Such a moral dilemma! This is heavy stuff for a 6 year old.

But, I'm so happy this conversation took place on a Meatless Monday!!

...

Do you remember realizing you were eating food with a face as a child?

<3, Tabi :D

p.s. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her that bacon was also meat. Poor kid...

...

Post Edit: Tonight (Tuesday night) over dinner, as she was picking through her beef, she decided with conviction we will no longer eat meat. She said, "I just don't want to feel this way anymore (bad)." And I could tell after she made the decision, she was very proud of it and felt much better. 

So that's that! We are Vegans. Oh boy. I will need a new cookbook.

How long do you think this will last?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday ...

... special Dr. Seuss Edition! 

In honor of the great Dr. Seuss' birthday, all these 'things' are Seuss-inspired. I won't go into how difficult it was for me to pick my top 5 Seuss things that make me happy, because everything Seuss makes me happy!!

  1. The Lorax. I am not talking about the Lorax just because of all the movie hype out right now, I pull this book (and cartoon DVD) out every Earth Day and many times between. The message is such a good one. I'm a sucker for a tree hugger, and that Lorax is the epitome of a tree hugger if there ever was. You go, Lorax!
  2. Yertle the Turtle. I first read this book when I was in the 7th grade... in art class while looking for clay inspiration. I ended up making clay turtles and have had a major obsession with turtles ever since! Another great message in this one. If I had a million dollars, I would buy a whole zoozle load of Yertle the Turtle books and send one to every CEO and politician. True Story.
  3. Truffula Trees. How beautiful are truffula trees?!?!? Colorful, tall, elegant, fluffy. Can someone please genetically engineer some truffula trees for me? Please?
    I've seen truffula tree inspired cake pops and cupcakes lately... brilliant!!! The original trees look scrumptious just on paper!
  4. Horton Hears a Who. That Horton.  I pray that everyone on this earth possesses at least a percentage of the great value Horton places on life. He was so delicate with those Whos. He cared so much for them that he searched a huge clover field one flower at a time to rescue those little guys when all his friends were calling him crazy.  That Horton. 
  5. Topsy Turvy Cakes. Well, topsy turvy anything. I love the craziness, the colorfulness, the creativity that Dr. Seuss has brought into our world. 
...

There are your 5 things, people.


BUT WAIT!!! Bonus 5 things. 
5 of my favorite Dr. Seuss book quotes:

1. “I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
    - Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle 

2. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
   - Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

3. “A person's a person, no matter how small.”
   - Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

4. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
   - Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

5. “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
   - Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!


<3, Tabi :D

P.S.  Don't forget to vote for me on Top Baby Blogs!! Please click on the banner below to vote for me. It only takes a second, I swear. Thanks so much. :) 
 
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Parent Tip #104

When you have a child with a runny nose,
it is a very bad idea to wear black.
Can you spot the snot smear?






For past parent tips, click here and here and here.
<3, Tabi :D
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