Friday, May 27, 2011

Getting Myself Back.

As any woman who's had a baby knows, pregnancy wreaks havoc on your body. Unless you're super lucky, after giving birth you still look pregnant for several months and everything seems to have moved south over the previous year. I think it's very much like adding insult to injury to have to take care of a brand new baby while also feeling really crummy about yourself. You battle with yourself every day over the comfort (and mutual embarrassment) of wearing your old maternity clothes verses trying to squeeze into your pre-preggy clothes that seem to have shrunk since you wore them last. For months after Oliver was born our bed was constantly covered in clothes I'd pulled out of the closet, tried on, and then discarded because they were too tight or looked awkward on me. Once I was fully recovered from my c-section I decided enough was enough; I absolutely refused to go on hating myself when there was something I could do about it.

For half of March and all of April I trained to run a 5K, starting very slowly - I'd jog 30 seconds at a time, then walk two minutes. That little bit of exercise was about all I could do at that point, but I felt myself getting stronger every day and stuck to my routine almost perfectly. Like I posted about before, at the end of April and beginning of May I ran two 5K races. Unfortunately after that my notoriously unreliable knees were pretty much shot.

Luckily by that time the baby was pretty regularly taking decent morning naps, so I decided I'd just start working out at home while he slept. Here is my weekly routine.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
- 30-45 minutes on the elliptical machine (SO glad I bought this a few months ago. It's saved my life AND my knees!)
- 100 crunches, alternating between centered and side crunches
- 100 glute kick-backs and glute knee raises

- P90X Kenpo
- P90X Ab Ripper X or Winsor Pilates Glutes & Thighs

- P90X Arms & Shoulders
- P90X Ab Ripper X

- P90X Yoga (Believe it or not this is the hardest workout of the week. I'm SO sore the next day.)

When Sean and I are watching tv at night I'll also do extra arm, glute, and ab work.

Between exercising daily and eating a low-calorie vegan diet I've been able to lose an average of 2-4 lbs. a week. It's so motivational to see the number on the scale continue to drop, and it feels even better to start fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I've still got about 17 lbs. to go to get to my goal weight (7 lbs. to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight), but I know I'll be able to quickly meet my goal by sticking with my plan.

I think sometimes - especially as a mom - it's easy to put everyone's needs before your own. It feels selfish to take any time for yourself when your kids and house are in need of constant attention. However, it's so crucially important that us mommies take care of ourselves too. I love this quote from Dr. Phil:
"The best thing you can do for your kids
is take care of their mom."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Taylor's Birthday Party

Tay decided this year he wanted another dinosaur-themed party. We had it at a park just down the street from our house and he had an absolute blast. The weather was really rainy and gloomy the morning of the party, but the sky cleared up just before the party and it was nice and sunny up until we were packing up to leave. We had good food, good company, and yummy cake and ice cream. I made the cake again this year and it was 100% vegan (though we didn't tell anyone that). Taylor got lots of great loot and he was pooped by the end of the night. Here are some photos from the evening.

Happy birthday kiddo!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Building Cathedrals

A few years ago when Taylor was just a baby my friend Christine sent me this story in an email. I think I posted it a while back but thought I would again because I needed to be reminded. This is for all the mommies out there working hard to build cathedrals.

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?" "Nobody," he shrugged. "Nobody?" The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, "Oh my goodness, nobody?"

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like, "Turn the TV down, please" - and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, "Would someone turn the TV down?" Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are." He just kept right on talking.

That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible. It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone
and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not! No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Four Years Old!

This cutie pie is four years old today! I can't believe that it's already been four years! Sean and I were looking at baby pictures of Tay the other night and honestly I can't even really remember him being so small. Guess that's what cameras are for!

Taylor, you are the absolute sunshine of my life. You have taught me so much about life and love and about what really matters. You've taught me to have compassion, to be genuinely kind, and to let loose and be silly. You are such an incredible son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend. Watching you learn and imagine and play makes me happier than anything in the world. You are so incredibly intelligent and sometimes say things that are certainly beyond your years; but then you act wild and crazy and remind me that you're still just a little preschooler who's learning about the world around him.

I know that sometimes I'm not the best mommy in the world; I lose my temper or get too involved in things to pay as much attention to you as I should. But I want you to know that I am thankful every day for the opportunity I have to be your mom. And every time you look at me with those big brown eyes and say, "I love you, mama," my heart just melts.

Happy birthday, kiddo. I love you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring gardening

When we moved into our townhome last year it was a little late in the season to plant anything. I did plant some wildflower seeds and a few pepper plants, but I was only able to see a few tiny flowers and a few tiny vegetables before the first frost came in and killed everything.

This year I decided I'd make sure to plant seeds early enough, so a couple of weeks ago Tay and I got out the shovels, rakes, and watering cans and went to work. I tilled up our entire garden area and dug out any weeds and large rocks. Then we decided where we wanted which flowers; We've got a couple areas for wildflowers, a patch for sunflowers, and some space for veggies and herbs. Most of our vegetable plants are still inside until they get a little bigger. Taylor is particularly proud of his green bell pepper plant.

There's something amazing about watching something that you planted grow from a tiny seed into a plant. I love peeking outside every morning to see more little seedlings popping up from the soil.

Hopefully come fall we'll have some beautiful wildflowers and yummy vegetables!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Food Dehydrator

For Mother's Day this year my mom gave me a Nesco food dehydrator (yeah you read that right. My MOM gave ME a Mother's Day gift. She's amazing). I've had it on my Amazon Wish List for a while and I've always wanted a dehydrator to dry fruits and make my own fruit rolls and spices.

I finally had some spare time a couple of days ago and decided to try making some dried pineapple since it's one of my favorite treats. It was so simple to slice up the pineapple, put the pieces on the dehydrator trays, and plug it in. It took about 18 hours to finish, and though the pineapple that came out of the machine wasn't anything like the dried fruit I'm used to buying in the store, it tasted AMAZING!

The thing I love the most about it - I didn't add any sugars or preservatives. It's just plain, delicious pineapple without any of the extra "stuff." Next on the agenda I'll try my hand at making craisins and grapes. I'd also like to dry tomatoes to make my own tomato paste, sauce, and soup. So much fun!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sleepy Baby

Last Saturday morning I brought Oliver downstairs and set him on the sofa with some toys so I could make myself some breakfast. I was only in the kitchen a few minutes, and when I walked into the living room the baby was bent over hugging his soft book. At first I thought he was just chewing on it, but as I got closer I realized he was fast asleep. So precious!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grandma's Little Cowboy

On Sunday we took the boys to my mother-in-law's horse property in South Jordan. Taylor was a bit intimidated by the horses, and he'd say he wanted to sit on one but then would change his mind once he actually got close to it. What he loved way more than the horses were the baby cows the owner of the property had. They were so tiny and cute!

And speaking of tiny and cute, check out my little cowboy. I just wanna squeeze him!

We'll probably go back to see the horses more this summer, and maybe by the end of the season Taylor will work up the courage to actually sit on one.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Amazing Rosemary Bread

I'm a sucker for homemade bread, but who isn't?? A few weeks ago I found a recipe on VegWeb for rosemary bread and I couldn't pass it up, especially because the reviews were comparing it to the bread at Macaroni Grill! Yum!

Well I definitely wasn't disappointed, and since making it I've planted rosemary in my garden specifically for this bread. As I'm trying to lose weight I probably shouldn't make this very often, but I have a feeling this bread will become a new staple at our house. So delicious!

Ingredients: (makes two loaves)
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons vegan margarine, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour, divided
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped, divided

1. Place yeast, sugar and water in large bowl or food processor and allow mixture to become bubbly. Mix in 1 tablespoon margarine, salt, and 2 cups flour.
2. Add one tablespoon of the fresh chopped rosemary. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in food processor about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if necessary.
3. Oil a bowl, put dough in it and cover with a towel. Let dough rise in a warm place for one hour until doubled. Punch down dough and divide in half. Let dough rest about 5 minutes.
4. Shape the dough into 2 small rounded oval loaves. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary over the loaves and press lightly into the surface. Let loaves rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes. Grease a baking pan or sheet, and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Carefully remove from oven, brush with remaining vegan margarine (and salt if desired).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I can't get over... cute these two munchkins are.

I'm so happy that they love each other and I hope they will always be close friends.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sky Walkers

As I mentioned in my Mother's Day post, my best friend Christine has a sweet little munchkin named Skylynn who has autism. From the moment Christine and her husband Nate even suspected Skylynn might have autism, they rolled up their sleeves and went to work. They've always made sure that their daughter has all the resources and help she needs and they are incredibly hands-on in working with Skylynn to develop her communication skills as much as possible. They have also really worked to educate those around them on what autism is and what it isn't; they don't want people making assumptions about Skylynn's intelligence or about their parenting methods in communicating and disciplining their daughter.

I try to support Christine as much as I can as she goes through this journey, so I'm very happy to post about a walk we're participating in this fall with Autism Speaks.

Here is an excerpt from Christine's blog:

As you all know autism is something that has touched our family very personally and very deeply. Skylynn is the greatest blessing we have ever received. She is smart, beautiful, fun, creative, energetic, curious, and the center of our world. It breaks our heart daily to see her struggle against autism to communicate with us, deal with her world, and enjoy the simple everyday things of life. The struggle we watch her go through daily is why we are walking for autism.

Autism effects 1 in 110 children and Skylynn is just one of these. We are walking with Autism Speaks on October 8th to help raise money to research autism, and provide services to those who are affected with autism. We feel so much love and support from all of our friends and family and would love your support on October 8th. If you can make a donation to our team, great... if you can't, we understand. Either way we'd LOVE to have your company at the walk on October 8th. Please join us in our fight to make a difference in the lives of the more than 1 million Americans living with autism today.

Visit our team page: Sky Walkers to join our team or make a donation.

If you're able, please visit Christine's team page to make a donation to this great cause.

Thank you so much!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tiny Dancer

I watch Ellen every day and Taylor's favorite part is when she dances at the beginning of the show. This kid cracks me up!

Tiny Dancer from Anne Nichols on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kokopax Carrier

A couple of nights ago I was watching an episode of Ellen that I had on my DVR. It was her Mother's Day special and she gave a ton of baby stuff away to her audience who just happened to be made up of first-time pregnant mommies. One of the things she gave to them was a baby carrier from Kokopax. I paid special attention to this particular item because Sean and I have been talking about wanting to get a backpack-style carrier for Oliver so we can go on hikes as a family.

Now I'm not usually a very compulsive buyer; I tend to research whatever it is I'm looking to buy to find the best one for me. However, I was so impressed with the carrier and the reviews I read about it that I just had to get it. Plus for one day only Kokopax was offering 40% off all orders for Ellen viewers. I couldn't pass it up!

I can't wait to get this baby in the mail. I have a feeling I'll be using the stroller a lot less often. Some of the things I love about this particular carrier:

- It gives the baby enough room to play with toys inside the carrier without having their poor arms dangling out of it constantly.
- It has lots of back support and I'm hoping it's as comfy as people say it is.
- It has a "kickstand" so you can set the baby in it first and then put it on your back. This is especially important to me because I don't want the hassle of having to get someone to help me put the baby in the carrier.

I'm sure I'll do a more in-depth review of this carrier once I get it; I'm so excited!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yummy Mac and "Cheese"

In making the decision to become vegan, there were (and still are) some foods that I assumed I'd never be able to eat again. One of the staples in our house before we went veg was mac and cheese; it's a nummy comfort food and one of the few things I made that Taylor would eat willingly.

Well I was very VERY pleasantly surprised to find this vegan version of macaroni and cheese on I made it last week and it was so delicious and gooey and garlic-y and TASTY! I honestly think if anyone tasted it without knowing it was vegan they'd have no clue.

Try it. It's good. I promise.

Vegan Mac & Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 cups plain vegan creamer
2 tablespoons garlic powder, divided
2 tablespoons onion powder, divided
2 tablespoons paprika, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon parsley, divided
2 (8 ounce) packages vegan shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup vegan breadcrumbs

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil macaroni until cooked very al dente; the pasta will cook more in the oven. Drain, place back in the pot, and drizzle some olive oil on it to prevent sticking. Set aside.
- In a medium size saucepan, add garlic and creamer on medium heat. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder, 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika, salt, pepper and 1/2 tablespoon parsley.
- Slowly stir in 8 ounces vegan cheese and turn up heat slightly until it turns into a gooey confection of garlic, cheesy yumminess. Stir cheese mixture in the pot with the macaroni and toss well.
- In a lasagna pan, start making layers by scooping 1/3 of the macaroni into the pan, sprinkle 1/3 of each remaining spice, sprinkle with 1/3 of remaining vegan cheese, and repeat to make three layers.
- Sprinkle top with breadcrumbs and cover with nonstick aluminum foil. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then dig in!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The sweetest thing.

This past weekend we were hanging out at my grandma's house and my brother was keeping Oliver busy while I made lunch. He put Ollie up on his shoulders and the poor little thing got so tuckered out that at one point he wrapped his chubby little hands around his head, rested his head against Jim's head, and almost fell asleep right there on his shoulders. It was so sweet!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I'd like to wish a very happy Mother's Day to all the amazing mommies in my life!

I especially want to tell my own mom how much I love and appreciate her. I could never do enough to repay her for all she's done for me, especially since I became a mother myself. She is the most selfless, giving, compassionate person I know. I'm grateful for every sacrifice she's made for me and for how passionately she loves her kids and grandkids. I love you, mommy!

I also want to say happy Mother's Day to my mom-in-law, my Grandma Jacobs, Grandma Reed, and all my amazing aunts, cousins, and friends who are such amazing mothers.

And lastly I want to wish a happy Mother's Day to my best friend Christine. She and I have known each other since grade school but have really become close since both of us became mommies. She and I share in all the ups and downs of motherhood, and I don't know what I'd do without our weekly chats. She has an amazing little girl named Skylynn who has autism, and I'm amazed at how well Christine handles the extra challenges that come from having a child with special needs. Christine is also expecting baby #2 in July and I can't wait to meet her new little one. Have a great day, chick!

(Hope you don't mind that I stole this off your blog, Christine!)

I love all the strong, amazing women in my life who have set such amazing examples for me. I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Race for the Cure

Sean and I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this morning. It was so neat being part of such a large group of people; there was about 20,000 people running the 5k!

It was such a beautiful morning and it was so much fun running for a good cause. Sean was so proud of himself for not only beating his last time, but beating me as well. We're going to try to run a 5k every month through the racing season, and this fall Sean's going to run a 10k.

It feels great to be getting in shape and I love that Sean and I are getting healthy together!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vegan Barbeque Black Bean Pizza

It's been quite the adventure cooking nothing but vegetarian and vegan dishes this past month. I've learned a lot about how to cook and bake with ingredients that I'd never even heard of before now. In looking for good vegan cookbooks I had a really hard time finding recipes that 1) my family would like, and 2) would be easy and quick to make. So I've decided to start posting some of my favorite recipes (some I've found, some I've invented, and some I've altered) in hopes that I can inspire more people to experiment with meatless cooking.

Today's recipe:
Vegan Barbeque Black Bean Pizza


Pizza Dough
3-1/2 cups flour
2 packets (1/2 oz.) active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 cup very warm water
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Pizza Toppings
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small red onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup vegan shredded cheddar
1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. dried cilantro (you can use fresh if you'd like a stronger flavor)


Make the pizza dough (I usually do this a couple of hours before dinner to make sure it'll be cooled completely):
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt. Add warm water and olive oil and knead about 5 minutes or until mixture is well combined and forms a ball. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let dough sit for 10 minutes in a warm place.
- Roll out dough and fit to oiled cookie sheet or pizza pan. Place in oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until very slightly browned.
Remove from oven and let cool.

Assemble and bake the pizza:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Put black beans in a medium bowl and stir in barbecue sauce. Spread black bean mixture over pizza dough with a spatula.
- Spread onions and shredded cheese over the top, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and cilantro.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

This pizza is super yummy and honestly I don't even miss the cheese and meat!

I'll be making more posts about the basics of vegetarian/vegan cooking, along with information about ingredients to use as substitutions as well as some of my other favorite recipes. Please let me know if you make any of these recipes. I'd love to hear what you think!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No more living things: An Update

It's now been exactly a month since the Nichols household went vegetarian. And oh what a month it's been! We've had a lot of ups and downs as far as figuring out what to cook and what we can and can't eat, but it honestly hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be!

After about a week of simply cutting meat out of our diets, we started slowly cutting eggs and most dairy out of our diets as well. At this point we're almost completely vegan, and I've never felt better in my life! This is something Sean and I have been trying to implement in our lives for years, and it feels so great to finally reach our goal.

Here are just a few changes that have happened since we decided to go Vegan:

- We both feel we're more conscious about what we put in our mouths and what we feed Taylor. Unfortunately, in our society especially, eating has become an unconscious thing; we don't stop to really think about what's on our plate and how it got there.

- I'm cooking from scratch a lot more, which is great because it saves money and I know exactly what is in the food we eat.

- We're all trying new things and finding foods we love that we never would have tried otherwise. One of my favorites: avocado and tomato panini. I seriously could eat one for lunch every day of my life.

- A surprising added bonus: Sean and I are both losing weight! I guess it shouldn't be a huge surprise, but it's definitely not something we initially expected to happen. I'm anxious for the both of us to go in and have physicals done, since the last time Sean went in his cholesterol was a bit high and he was close to being borderline diabetic. I'm positive that his test results would be much better now.

Over this past month I've been asked a lot of questions about plant-based diets, and so I thought I'd share the two books I read in April that really helped me change my thinking about food and helped us all make the conversion to a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle.

The first book I read was "Veganist" by Kathy Freston. In this book she talks about how to "lean" toward a healthier diet, rather than radically cutting all animal protein and byproducts from your diet immediately. She also talks about nine "promises" that a vegan lifestyle gives, including reducing your carbon footprint, reducing animal suffering, and protecting yourself and your family from food-born illnesses. Even if you are in no way interested in being completely vegan (or even vegetarian) this book is a must-read.

Reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer was the biggest eye-opener for me. He talks very honestly and frankly about the problems that eating meat has caused to our bodies, our country, and the world. He addresses what exactly it means to buy meat and dairy labeled "organic," "cage-free," and "free-range." The thing I love about this book is that he aims to inform, rather than preach. He gives you the facts and lets you decide what is right for you and your family. I highly recommend it.

I was even able to find Taylor a cute and sweet picture book about our new lifestyle. It's called "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals," written and illustrated by Ruby Roth. I love the illustrations and it talks in a simple way about taking care of animals and our planet.

I'm so proud of Taylor for opening our eyes to his little preschooler view of the world and helping us take these first steps toward a vegan lifestyle. It hasn't been easy, but it's helped us all to feel healthier and happier.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Five Months

This little chunker is five months old today! I'm loving getting to know this little boy and seeing his sweet little personality come out.

Here are some little tidbits about our almost-half-a-year-old kiddo:

- He likes to scream. Screaming is his way of communicating with us. If he wants your attention, is upset, or wants his big brother to back off, he screams at the top of his lungs. It's the funniest thing in the world.

- He LOVES his jumper. Even when he's sad and crying because he wants to get out of it, he keeps jumping. It's hilarious.

- Unfortunately Oliver is following in his brother's footsteps when it comes to sleep. Oliver is up CONSTANTLY at night, and hardly ever takes very long naps either. He just wants to be awake, even if it means he's super cranky with big puffy eyes because he's fighting sleep so hard.

- Oliver loves faces. If you get your face close to him he'll immediately stretch out his chubby little hands and touch your cheeks, nose, and lips. The other night he laid next to Sean and I and just went from one of us to the other, running his little fingers all over our faces. It was like he was trying to memorize his mommy and daddy, and it nearly brought me to tears.

- He's getting really good at controlling his hands and can now play with toys pretty easily (and by "play" I mean shove in his mouth).

- Oliver is doing really well with sitting up supported, and I think in another month he'll be sitting up on his own. Every time we lay him on his back he immediately strains to lift his head up; he wants to sit up and see the world.

- Ollie has been getting a serving of rice cereal every day and he really loves it. I have a hard time feeding him because he wants to grab the spoon out of my hand. Funny kid...

- He has the saddest "booby lip" I've ever seen in my life. When this kid is sad he makes sure everyone knows it. And seeing that little bottom lip stick out and his big brown eyes fill up with tears just breaks my heart.

- Oliver loves hanging out with Daddy and Taylor. He's always so interested in what they're doing and I can tell he really wants to be able to do all the things his big brother does.

I know I say this every month, but it's just amazing to me how fast time has gone by! I feel like I blink and another month has passed. Sometimes being a mother is no picnic, and there are times when I feel like I just need a break, but being at home with this little guy and his big brother is so much fun and it's the only thing I want to do right now.