Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vegan Night

I have spoken some here on my blog about my dietary goals. You might know by now that I am taking baby steps towards a healthier diet for my family and I, which will also in turn be healthier for our planet. My wonderful husband, after reading some information I gave him, has agreed to also take his own baby steps. So now I am researching and trying new meals for us in correlation with these goals. I have a goal of being vegan for 3 dinners a week and Hubby darling has agreed to only eat meat (chicken or fish) 3 dinners a week. So here is our first Vegan night, congratulate us!

I decided to try my hand at frying up some tofu and it turned out pretty good. Both of my sons ate a piece and Clark went back for seconds. I also made some whole wheat pasta and added some oil and some veggies sauteed in garlic. My plate is the one with the spinach salad and the broccoli. There are a lot of changes my husband is willing to make, but spinach and broccoli are still not on this list.

My boys both got a small plate of pasta (do I have the only children on this earth who don't like pasta), some fried tofu, a pickle and a small bowl of apple sauce. I am feeling very good about this meal for my kids. They don't really eat much meat in the first place so the biggest hurdle with helping them towards our goals is the pickiness of these two boys. Getting more fruits and veggies into these two boys has been a challenge to say the least and I am really happy with our progress.

Right now the only meat my boys eat is either in the form of nuggets or sandwiches. The nuggets will probably be a pretty easy thing to eliminate, but the sandwiches are another story. I'd love to hear some new ideas for lunch box/picky boy friendly vegetarian lunches. My boys don't like nut butters, so this really does make it a little more of a challenge packing lunch boxes.

So I am now congratulating myself on yet another baby step towards my ultimate goal. Breaking this goal down into these smaller more attainable goals has really helped us to be even more successful, and on top of that, feel the joy of this success on a regular basis...and really who doesn't want to feel joy regularly? I think one of the biggest lessons I have learn so far in my early thirties is to take baby steps toward any goal. In my experience I have found that in my exuberance for an issue I tend to jump 'both feet' into it, only to find myself having to start all over again at a later date. I can't say exactly why breaking a goal down into smaller steps seems to equal more success for me, but I can say that so far it has been true for me and I am very happy to have figured this out.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Picky vs. Not Picky

My older son is a really picky eater. I think he gets it from his Daddy, who has actually been making really great strides towards eating a more balanced diet recently. There are several different types of picky eaters and my son is really pretty maxed out on the scale. He is one of the only children I know who doesn't like applesauce or raisins or bananas or any fruit at all really. We spend more time than I'd like struggling to get him to have one bite of a fruit or veggie at each meal. The whole thing can be frustrating and exhausting to say the least, especially when I consider myself to be pretty experimental when it comes to food.

This is why when my second son was born I just kind of assumed he'd be the same way. You can imagine my thrill when Clark began eating bananas at the young age of 1. Then we tried applesauce and raisins and green beans and watermelon etc etc etc. He liked them all. I have felt my heart leap each time he eats a new fruit or veggie without any struggle at all.

So here we are today...Monday. This hasn't been a great Monday for several reasons (daylight savings, personal issues, health issues, etc etc etc). So when Clark asked for some of my blackberries and strawberries at lunch today I figured, what the heck. I was near tears when he woofed them down and asked for more!

Yesterday I began part three of my dietary changes. I spent the last two weeks being meat free and the two weeks before that were spent adding many fresh fruits and veggies into my regular diet. Now I am embarking on the third phase of the plan, which is eliminating processed sugar. I have done this before with great success and fallen off the wagon, so to speak. So here we are enjoying our dessert of fresh blackberries and local strawberries. What a thrill to finally have a family member to share my love of fruit and veggies with!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Soccer Prodigy

Guess who scored the first goal of the first game of the season for his team?

It's just too bad today's practice has been rained out because he really loves playing so much. He asks me everyday, "How many more days until soccer?"

Coach says he is a natural. I seriously had to blink tears away when I watched my first born score his first soccer goal. I love this kid soooo much and I am so proud.

Thursday Mornings

Thursday mornings are my favorite weekday morning for many reasons. This is really the only morning of the week that the boys and I really relax. Since there is no school on Thursdays for us, we get to stay in our PJ's all morning and hang around the house. For me this means cup after cup of tea and reading bits and pieces of the newspaper and the internet in between preforming lego space ship repairs and breaking up sibling rivals. Inevidably, my boys will ask to do a craft.

I am definitely a member of the school of mother's who let their children determine the rhythm of the day. Being a 'type A' Virgo, I do enjoy my schedule, but I also really have come to love these boundless thursday mornings and the feeling of freedom that they bring.

One rainy Thursday morning not long ago I pulled out the fabric paints that I bought on clearance at Joanne's and searched through the drawers for plain t-shirts that the boys could paint. They had fun both painting the shirts and afterward cleaning up in the bath.

This morning I opened up a package of Halloween themed foam stickers that, once again, I bought on clearance after the holiday. Target and Joanne's are my two favorite stores to hit the day or two after a holiday for mark downs. Young boys really don't care if they are dressing skeletons in pumpkins in the middle of March. So here we are on another rainy Thursday morning sitting around in our PJ's and really enjoying the slow pace of the day. I remind myself more and more to enjoy these slow times since with Curtis' new soccer team and his ever nearing entrance into Kindergarten (don't even talk about it), soon these leisurely Thursday mornings will for sure be a thing of the past.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Life takes precedent

There are times in life when I really want to record what is happening through photos and blogging but I find myself having to make the decision between remaining present in the moment or rushing off to find the camera to record the moment. This blog entry is about one such occasion.

Today has been a really beautiful day here in Cen FL. The boys and I have spent much time together outdoors playing in the yard. At one point I noticed a couple of acorns had fallen from our neighbor's tree and sprouted in our yard. With some care I was able to free two of them whole from the dry winter soil. Both boys really enjoyed looking at the acorn with roots cracking out from the bottom and a 'baby tree' sprouting from the top. We decided to plant our baby trees and see if they will grow into big oaks like our neighbors have in their yard.

We were having so much fun that I decided not to break away to grab the camera right away. I really do wish I had captured that shot of both boys carrying their newly potted seedlings across the yard with such care, but at the moment it seemed more important to be present and enjoy the scene rather than to be rushing off to capture it on film. I sometimes fear that I won't remember these precious moments without recording them, but there are also times when I do believe it is more important to just be present in the moment. This hasn't always been something I was aware of, but lately I've become more and more present in my life with great rewards.

So after Curtis was done planting his tree and was back inside playing Mario, I ran to get the camera and Clark was nice enough to oblige a few photos. Here you can see as he demonstrates how he watered his seedling just moments before.

Unfortunately, it seems I wasn't clear enough about how long it takes one of these oak trees to grow since when he was done watering the plant he pulled his little chair right over to watch it grow. I then explained how his tiny baby tree needed lots of time and sunshine and rain water to grow big like the one next door. I'm not sure if he fully understands yet or not.

He sat for quite some time contentedly looking at his baby tree with pride. I might have a little gardener on my hands here.