February 2007


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I was up with Gozer from about 1:00 a.m. until about 3:30. He was coughing, whining, crying, yelling, and really wanting to watch Home Alone. I gave him some cold medicine, and snuggled up on the big chair with him and a blanket, and put the movie in. I was a zombie, so I wasn’t really paying attention to anything, until he said, “My moustache hurts.” I told him I was sorry.

This morning, I asked him if his moustache still hurt, and he said no.

I made vegan chocolate cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World yesterday, with vegan chocolate “mousse” frosting. I wish the cupcakes would rise a little more, but they’re acceptable. The frosting uses a block of silken tofu with chocolate chips. Who would ever think to blend up tofu with chocolate chips? It’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t have called it mousse. It’s more like Jello pudding consistency, except it tastes much better. It actually tastes like chocolate.

I made the gingerbread cupcakes last week, and they fell. I was pretty sad, because I was going to give them to a family in the neighborhood that just had their 4th baby via C-section. I made them some bread and a salad, while another neighbor made some kind of casserole. (I’m a little opposed to casseroles, except for a good moussaka.) So I thought it would be nice to have a little dessert, but they just didn’t look presentable. So of course I ate them all. Or at least most of them. They had chopped up crystallized ginger in them, but it turned soft and gooey. That part was great. I love gooey. I’m going to try that recipe again and see if I can prevent the collapse.

I’m not vegan. I’m not even vegetarian. I just think it’s important for our health to consume mostly plant matter, with the occasional animal product. I have strong feelings about the treatment of animals in agribusiness, but haven’t gone all the way to not using them at all. I cook mostly vegetarian, and a lot vegan. Maybe I’m preparing for the big switch.

I think North Americans are way too dependent on meat, and it’s all psychological. People think they have to have it at every meal, and especially at dinner. I just do not agree. If it’s protein you’re worried about, there are plenty of alternatives to flesh. And I don’t just mean tofu. Why does everyone think tofu is the only thing vegetarians eat for protein? And that they always just eat it plain? I love baked, seasoned or marinated tofu. So do my kids. I also love stir-fried tempeh, mushrooms, every kind of bean on the planet, all the nuts, grains, and seeds. I could easily be vegetarian. But I’m still too lazy.

At least I know how to make a cupcake without any eggs. That skill may come in handy someday.

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This is my Kiki.
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She is my Chocolate Joy-Joy Bar. She is the constant in my chaotic, scream-filled world. She smiles, laughs, and watches. She endures the smothering love of her two older brothers. She is my sweet little Girlo.

Gozer asked me the other day, “Why did Heavenly Father make smelly poop?” I had to answer honestly, “Baby Bear, he didn’t make the smelly poop. You did.”

Because…

You and every other child would think it was brown play-dough.

Parents would not have much incentive to change diapers.

You might attract bees.

All those aerosol air-freshener companies would go out of business, and many people would be unemloyed and homeless.

There would be nothing for little boys to make “jokes” about.

On to a more appetizing topic, I found another way to get some greens into my children. The idea first came from Daring Young Mom and just the other day, from Vegan with a Vengeance. I made mashed potatoes and put in some spinach that I had steamed for a long time with garlic. I think my kids don’t really know when garlic is in something, because I put it in everything. So anyway, I puree the spinach with a little of the potato water, using my handy and much-loved immersion blender, until it looks like green tempera paint. No little green chunks. I add this to the potatoes, with a little sour cream and butter, and it is the most psychedelic color of green I’ve ever seen. Calvin’s favorite color is green. So I tell him these are for him. He loves it. Gozer, not so much, because he’s waiting for his red potatoes. I think I will try beets in the potatoes next time.

So the next day, I have this pile of leftover green mashed potatoes, and I don’t want to have the same thing again, so I saute an onion in olive oil, add chicken broth and boil for about 5 minutes, add a little more spinach, and the rest of the leftovers, blend it all up, then add a bunch of frozen green beans and a can of garbanzo beans. We have this for dinner with sourdough toast, and Derek loves is. He doesn’t even notice it is the same leftovers he had for lunch.

This morning I made Derek an omelet with a huge pile of mushrooms. The boys had already had breakfast, but they started begging Derek for bites of the omelet. They usually hate mushrooms, but for some inexplicable reason, today they couldn’t get enough. So I gave them the omelet I made for myself, too.

I’ve decided I’m going to start buying lots of mushrooms. Talk about perfect food. 1 1/2 cups of mushrooms has 25 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 1 1/2 grams of fiber. They even have their own Kingdom. No, they’re not a vegetable. They’re not even related to vegetables. They’re not related to animals, either. And they’re so stinking yummy! I love sauteed mushrooms. I especially love them sauteed in butter till they’re a little crispy, with lots of salt, but that’s one of those times when they’re not quite so beneficial to your health. Like popcorn. Three cups of popped corn has about 100 calories, but if you add a tablespoon of butter, which is what makes it yummy, you add another 100 calories. Then again, fats were invented to help us want to eat our vegetables.

I ran for 20 whole minutes today! This is amazing to me, mostly because it’s 20 minutes more than I could run 2 months ago, and I have not had a single sore day yet. I still only run 4 times a week, with three short runs and one long one. I know 20 minutes is not exactly long, but it’s sure better than none. And it means the beginning of the end of the postpartum out-of-shape-ness that has been plaguing me. Plus, it has been above freezing for a couple of days in a row, and I have been able to go out during daylight. And I ran a route today that I have not run for an entire year, since the pleurisy/asthma/pregnancy meltdown. It’s sweet liberation.

I’m pretty sure Gozer has taught himself to read.

news

On Calvin’s 5th birthday, he had a bunch of presents, and Gozer, 2, was jealous, so Cal gave one to Goz to open. He tore the wrapping off the book, and said, “Oh. Go, Dog, Go.” Then he tossed it aside to see the more exciting presents.

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