Things I never thought I’d hear myself saying

“That’s not poop, it’s a raisin!” – Said with relief after Ava kept saying, “poop, poop, poop” and pointing at something beneath my chair.

“Take the ducky out of the toilet, now please.” – Said after Ava decided ducky needed a swim.

“Get your hands out of the toilet.” – Said on numerous occasions now when Ava decides to go exploring in the “waawaa.”

Are you sensing a pattern here? Ava is fascinated with the toilet lately. Not going potty on it, but sticking her hands (and other things) in it. We’re doing our best to keep the bathroom doors closed, but I don’t always remember. Might have to invest in a couple of those childproof locks for the toilets. This is getting old, fast. :oP

On a related note of doing things she knows she shouldn’t be doing, Ava will sometimes say “Noooo, baby” as she reaches for something she shouldn’t have. She knows it’s not for her, but she’s gonna try to get it anyway. Li’l stinker. ;)

It’s hard to say no

I did a maternity photoshoot for a friend this weekend. Although her 15 month old daughter wasn’t excited about being in many pics, I still managed to get some good captures. They weren’t the sweet ones I had visions of getting with the daughter resting her head on or kissing mom’s tummy, but, as I’m learning in the business, you gotta go with the flow. ;)

At the end of the session, while I was packing up my things to go home, my friend called to her husband to get out the checkbook. I asked her what for and she said “to pay you.” I reminded her that there was no fee for the session. (I’ve been waiving my session fee and offering 50% off print prices while I’m still learning and portfolio building.) She really wanted to pay me, but I told her that it wasn’t necessary.

It’s hard to say no in a situation like that, when the money would certainly come in handy, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I’m not going to take money from one person when I’m not charging anyone else, especially since the experience I’m gaining from all of this is invaluable.

She asked me when I was going to start charging and I told her I didn’t know. I just don’t feel ready yet. She said she thinks I’m ready, Jody tells me I’m ready, but I have to feel it myself. I know I’ll never know everything and never be perfect, but I do want my comfort level to be a bit higher before I go “pro.”

I hope she will be happy with the pictures I took. There are several that I like, but it’s more important that she likes them. I might share a few of them here once I get done proofing them.

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As for the rest of the weekend…
We went to a couple flea markets on Saturday, in search of some props for my business. I found a small bench that I like but I didn’t get it. I can’t decide if I should spend some money buying small things like that or keep saving for the 50 mm lens that I really want. Right now I’m leaning towards saving for the lens.
We also went out to lunch, which was a really nice, rare treat.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. :)

Couple recipes – Chickpea lunch and Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu

I’m not sure where I picked up this first recipe. (My apologies in advance to anyone I may have snagged this from since I don’t know whom to credit. If I did get it from you, let me know so I can link ya here.)

No pics of this one, but it’s a nice colorful (and tasty) lunch and super easy to throw together.

Chickpea Lunch

1 can of chickpeas
sliced cherry tomatoes
feta cheese
lemon juice
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
dried oregano
salt
pepper

Toss together and serve.

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The second recipe is for Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu. I got this from Running2Ks, who I believe got it from a friend. It’s really easy to make and is very tasty!


Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu:

2 Tbsp hot water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp almond butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1 lb very firm tofu sliced in thickness to your liking
Salt & Pepper Kettle chips crushed
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender, then pour in a bowl (or just mix vigorously in a bowl if you don’t want to dirty your blender like me). Dip the tofu in the sauce and then coat it with the Salt & Pepper Kettle chips. I added a bit more water to the leftover sauce and poured it over the coated tofu pieces. Place tofu pieces on a cookie sheet and bake @ 350 F for 15 min. Flip them over and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Mmmmmm, tasty! Jody and I both loved these and and Ava ate them right up as well. :)

Healthy lil toddler – doc appt.

We had Ava’s 18 month check-up yesterday. She’s nearly 19 months now, but hey, at least I got her there. ;)

The appointment went marvelously. Ava is healthy and doing very well. She’s at or above all the developmental milestones for her age. The normal number of words for a child her age to have is 3 to 50 and she has at least 75 (and I keep thinking of more words I didn’t yet count). The doctor was quite impressed that she’s been doing somersaults on her own for the past three months. Yep, she’s our little monkey.

Ava was very cooperative during the exam. She stood still while the doc listened to her heart and lungs. She opened her mouth to let her look at her throat. She even showed off her teeth when asked. And while the doc and I talked, Ava played peek-a-boo with her by hiding behind the chair and climbed up and down the little step to get on the exam table, saying “wheee!”, assisted by the doc’s hand. :)

Her weight was 29 lbs., 6 oz., (95th percentile) and her height was 32 1/2 inches (75th percentile), though I think she’s at least an inch taller than that. Her knees were bent when the nurse measured her. (Actually, I just looked up her 15 month stats and she was supposedly at 32 inches then, so I definitely think those measurements are a bit subjective.)

I didn’t go armed with a list of questions this time because I just didn’t have any concerns. It’s kind of nice when that happens. ;)

We did talk a bit about the switch to vegetarianism. I said we are eating vegetarian now and she said, “Does she like fish?” And I said “Yes, she does, but we aren’t eating fish anymore.” (Why do people think fish aren’t animals?) I guess that was her lead in to talk about how fish is important for brain development. (Anybody got anything she could eat instead for her brain? Avocados?) She asked about dairy and eggs and I said we were still going to have dairy and eggs, but I wasn’t planning on giving her cow’s milk anymore. So she asked if I was using soy milk or what? I said soy and rice milk. She went on to say that rice milk is pure sugar to kids at this age and not to give it to her. Hmmm. I got home and compared the boxes of soy milk and rice milk. Soy milk has 7 grams of sugar and rice milk has 10 grams. Rice milk is fortified with B12 and soy milk isn’t. I dunno. She drinks so very little soy or rice milk each day anyway (she’s still nursing), I’m not sure I should be concerned. I’ll do some more research.

My approach with doctors has always been that I respect and listen to what they have to say. But I do that with the knowledge that they are only human and can’t possibly know everything, and then I go home, do my own research and make decisions that I feel are right for us. So that’s what I’ll do.

We also started her on her Polio vax. (We’re delaying and selectively vaxing and have only done 3 shots of the DTaP so far.) I feel good about the way we’re doing her vaxes. It took me a long time to decide we would even do any, but I’m glad we went the route that we did.

I’m thankful to have a happy, healthy lil toddler. :)

Recipes – Indian food and Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls

I made Miriam’s “Pseudo-Indian Dinner” for dinner the other night. It was my first time cooking with or eating Swiss Chard and I have to say, I really like it! :)

This is Miriam’s recipe, but I added in amounts that I used of everything because I’m anal like that ;) and it will help me to make it again the next time.

Pseudo-Indian Dinner

3 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
1/2 C chopped onion
2 C water
1 large potato chopped
1 can garbanzo beans
2 large spoons of tomato paste
1/2 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/2 t tumeric
2 t curry powder
3 shakes red pepper flakes
1 bunch freshly chopped red swiss chard

Sautee garlic and onion in olive oil.
Add water, potato, garbanzo beans, spices and tomato paste.
Once potatoes are softened, stir in the chard. Allow chard to cook until softened.

Serve over quinoa (Miriam’s idea) or brown rice (my idea) or basmati rice (thought that would be tasty for future reference). Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Thanks for the delicious recipe, Miriam! :)

And now for the scrumptious dessert – Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls!

Running2Ks got this from the book “Sinfully Vegan” and it can be a vegan recipe if you use vegan chocolate chips. Since we aren’t vegan though, I just used regular chocolate chips.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Balls

– 1 cup peanut butter (I used natural, organic peanut butter)
– 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
– 1/2 cup powdered sugar
– Approximately 3/4th of a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips (can use vegan chocolate chips to make the recipe vegan-friendly)
Blend the peanut butter, pumpkin and powdered sugar in a food processor (or mix well in a bowl). Form into small balls and place on wax paper; freeze 30 minutes or until hard.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or on the stove.
Using a wooden toothpick, dip the frozen balls into the melted chocolate. Place back onto the wax paper and put back into the freezer until chocolate has hardened.
Enjoy!


I took some of these with me to our AP group’s moms’ night out get-together last night and they were a big, big hit. :) Jody loves them too and was bummed I didn’t bring any home. I told him there were 4 leftover, but I left them with the hostess because I knew if they came into the car with me, I’d eat them all on the drive home. ;) They are really good. Thanks for sharing the recipe, R2Ks!

Feeling a bit frustrated – Ava food stuff

I’m very pleased that we’ve been eating vegetarian meals around here for the past week without a problem. I’ve found several new recipes to try and have been enjoying eating new, delicious foods. (Will post some recipes I’ve tried recently soon.)

The problem is, Ava is not as excited about all of mommy’s new recipes as mommy is. ;)

I don’t think being vegetarian is bothering her – the only meat she was fond of in the past anyway was fish. The problem is, I think, the dishes I am making are too “exotic,” for lack of a better word, for her.

Here I am all excited that I’m making these tasty and very nutritious meals, but she doesn’t want anything to do with them. (Although she does like hummus and that’s something.) So I’m banging my head on the wall.

I don’t want to become a short-order cook. I’d like her to eat what the rest of the family eats. However, I do realize some foods might just be too spicy for her (even though I don’t get too crazy with the spices because I’m a wimp myself when it comes to spicy foods).

So I guess I’m now on the lookout for vegetarian recipes that are more kid-friendly so that she can enjoy our meals too.

Part of this might be due to the fact that many toddlers get picky about their eating habits regardless of if they are carnivorous or not. It’s hard to say. Even before this began, she would have her days of not wanting to eat much of anything.

I have made some Morningstar Farms® Chik’n Nuggets for her and she liked those, but with drinking some soy milk (also rice milk) and having tofu and tempeh in meals, I start to worry about how much soy is too much. I’ve also made her organic mac and cheese with pumpkin mixed in. She does ok with that. Her favorite food – that she would eat any time of the day or night if granted permission – is cheese (string cheese, slices of cheese, whatever) but mama is trying to cut back a bit on that.

I got the book “Raising Vegetarian Children : A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony” in the mail today and need to give it a look. I think there are supposed to be recipes in there and I’m sure there will be other information to calm me a bit.

I’m probably worrying unneccessarily. I’ve been known to do this in the past when she didn’t want to eat. It seems as soon as I vent about it somewhere, she gets back to normal, so here’s hoping that’s the case now as well. ;)

Thanks for listening. And if you have any links to kid-friendly veggie recipes, I’d love them. :)