Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feeding Children Vegan for a Week

I can't believe I have been able to feed my kids vegan for three entire days! The biggest surprised is they haven't ask for their beloved cheese. Huge bonus: I'm loving the fact I now only have to make one lunch. They've been great eaters these last couple days, here is what's been cooking in our kitchen:

 Day 2

Lunch: Gardein Crispy Tenders, quinoa and pears. 

I love this meal, because it takes zero work, and it includes a super grain! This is one of Monique's favorite meals as well. Thérèse isn't too big on quinoa, but with ketchup, she says it doesn't taste bad.

Dinner:  Udon noodles with shredded zuccini and carrots with steamed broccoli. 

Sorry! No picture for this one. I whipped this dinner up, threw everyone's shoes on and ran out the door for our evening walk. Then I totally forgot. Whoops! You can check out a past blog post about his meal here.

Day 3

Lunch: Hiziki Croquettes with millet, carrot, scallions, tahini and garbanzo beans. 

This is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Family Meals. It's actually supposed to be a part of a salad, but the croquettes are so strong, I often serve them on their own. This dish is calcium overload. While whole milk contains 118 milligrams of calcium per serving, but chickpeas have 150, sesame seeds 1,160 and hijiki 1,400! Step aside, milk. Hijiki, a sea vegetable is pricey, but it's totally worth it because it lasts forever. Thankfully, Monique loves this dish and once again, Thérèse thinks it's great with ketchup. I'm telling you, kids appreciate basic flavors. It reminds me of surf and turf. Love that.

 Dinner: Fidello with peas and carrots, beans and steamed broccoli. 

As a kid, fidello was my all time favorite. Who doesn't love carbs? My bizarre children aren't crazy about it though. Don't ask me why. They did ask for two servings of my beans though. Apparently I make boss beans. I guess I'm going to have to make more since they are such a hit.

Broccoli still steaming when I took this picture.

 My kids eat oatmeal with raisins and banana for breakfast every morning. Thérèse cannot live without her morning oatmeal. It was the only thing I craved when I was pregnant with her, which is strange, because I hate oatmeal.

This morning I decided we had an awesome three days and it was time for a treat. Thérèse and I mixed up these vegan, gluten and sugar free waffles. They are the best waffles. Period. We ate them with juicy farmers market peaches. You can get the recipe here.

Are there any vegan dishes your kids love?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cutting the Cheese

Somehow dairy has made it into my body. I'm not sure how since I know if flares up my eczema, makes my head stuffy, my emotions moody and my sleep less sound. So I wouldn't consciously consume it. But somehow it's come in, and I want my buoyant energy back.

Two out of three of the girls' meals are vegan. They really only eat cheese, but making their grilled cheese for lunch is such a temptation, I decided I needed to cut all contact with cheese and make all their meals vegan. At least for a couple days. I figured it would do them more good than harm. But would I be able to feed them vegan meals without only making PBJ's? It's turned into a challenge, to see how long I can go without feeding them their typical quesadilla, grilled cheese or mac and cheese lunches.

Here is what they ate for the first day of their no cheese diet:

Yesterday we went to their library class. It's awesome. They do all kinds of dancing and singing and then they let the kids loose in a room filled with toys and puzzles. I love that the library provides this resource. Afterwards, we went to the park for a picnic. Thérèse knows if we have a picnic she gets a juice box, which makes her excited about life.

Lunch was a burrito: frijoles con papas. Boiled potatoes, salted and mashed in extra virgin olive oil with lightly fried and mashed beans rolled into a tortilla. I used canned because I didn't have any made. Not ideal but certainly practical. Avocado would be a delicious addition to this burrito.

Snack: Popcorn and pears.

Dinner: Fried rice and broccoli. I almost had a melt down because I ran out of soy sauce. Soy sauce is essential to fried rice. Plus my kids love it. They will eat anything if it is smothered and cooked in soy sauce. It is the equivalent to ketchup in this house. Thankfully, they ate this dinner right up. I did have to bribe them with vegan ice cream sandwiches, but still, they didn't complain about eating this. Simple flavors go a long way with kids. 

Fried Rice: Sauté one leek, two garlic, add one zucchini, one small carrot, all finely diced. After veggies slightly brown, stirred in three cups leftover brown rice, two teaspoons soy sauce and add half a package of crumbled firm tofu. Serve with steamed broccoli.

Basic flavors go a long way with kids. And my husband enjoyed it too, so win/win. Don't ask why the baby stroller is on the kitchen chair. Thérèse said she put it their on purpose. Okay....

I know you all woke up this morning and thought, "I want to know what Arisa's kid look like messy and preoccupied with vegan ice cream sandwiches and a grain of rice stuck to her chin." Well here you are. My kids eat a lot of veggies. We need an incentive they love and that doesn't destroy all the good the veggies did. 

I will be updating our adventures in Cheeseless Children. I can't make promises in how often. I started this post at eight this morning and it's almost eight in the evening now. There are a few distractions around here...

Monique just fell. I gasped and laughed at the same time. I didn't know I could do that. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Soup's Up!

Hey Y'all!

So I know I popped up, "Hey! I'm back!" and then, "Just kidding...Not back..." So this is the deal. My MacBook is dead. We are on a super tight budget so waiting to get it revived. But the main reason I'm often unable to blog, is because Daniel is working a full time job, part time job and attending graduate classes full time. Whew! I got winded just saying that. So I'm home alone with the girls all day everyday. We get Daniel Wednesday evening and night and all of Sunday. That's it! We miss him. Today's Wednesday so he's home! WooHoo! He's been swamped with finals. Today he came home from work, got the girls involved in playing an educational game on their own, helped with dinner, burped the baby and said, "What do you need me to do?" But I didn't hear him. All I heard was a symphony. I have the best husband.

On another note, being alone with three girls three and under all the time has made me incredibly strong. I can hold a 15 pound baby, squat and brush a kid's teeth all at once. Don't I get some sort of badge for that? No? Okay. I guess I'll settle for semi-strong legs and a clean set of toddler's teeth.

I've been spending the last ten days trying to get my toddler to stop sucking her thumb 24/7. Have you ever spent time with an addict being forced to get over a major addiction? Draining....Get the thumb out get the thumb out get the thumb out. The way she reacts to this request would make a person passing by believe there was some sort of real torture involved. No, no torture. Just fighting addictions. I can joke about addiction because I have an addictive personality. I hold a record for completing all seasons of Prison Break in record time. Hello, how is it possible to stop looking at Wentworth Miller once one has seen his face? Too bad the poor kid can't act. He'd be unstoppable.

So why am I blogging today? Oh, why to share one of my favorite soups of course! Today is officially the first day of Fall in our neighborhood. We broke out our pants! It'd been so long, I had totally forgotten what my pants looked like. We also got to wear sweaters. We hit up Farmers Market and the produce looked amazing! So beautiful. I wanted to kiss the growers. I wanted to make this meal to warm us up and use lots of our fresh veggies.

I love this recipe because it has a variety of veggies and instead of pasta contains quinoa. When I make this, I use only 4 cups stock and substitute the rest with water. I don't toast the quinoa and I omit the coriander (because we don't have any and I'm too cheap to buy it). My favorite topping to add to this soup are corn tortillas which I cut into strips and then pan fry till crispy. Yummy! 

Saucy Southwestern Meal recipe here.  


I encourage you to check out other recipes on this site by Ann Gentry. This is definitely the easiest one on the site, her dishes can get really complicated, but all her food is amazing and the site has great cooking videos by her as well.

Here is my baby! We called her Sunny in the womb and she definitely has lived up to her name. 

 How about that chunk! Her two faces are happy and terrified. Aw...they are growing too fast. Not allowed.

Today I scrubbed my kitchen sink so bright it almost blinded me. Yes, these are the things that excite me in life now. I love being a stay at home mom! All the sippy cups and the... the...mess...I take comfort in knowing that a cleaning fairy is going wipe the mess away. Yes, I'm the fairy. Do I get a badge for that?

I'm on the hunt for easy, quick, cheap vegan dishes (that does not include just rice and beans). Please share if you have a staple!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Eat Your Kale Without Hating It

   Yay! I'm blogging! I've missed it so much. Every day I think, "Tonight is the night I'm going to blog!" 
But the reality is, that I'm home alone with the girls 12 hour days, four days a week. So the sad truth is, by bed time, I'm stone dead on the couch. Plus my Macbook has pooped out on me, so my blogging days on the couch are over. Sit at a desk? What? No, I can't get in that position at night. 

   So where did my burst of blogging energy come from? Well, I happen to have the most gigantic 9 week old baby on the planet. Want to know something special about gigantic babies? They start to sleep through the night earlier. So for two nights in a row, this chick has slept for over 8 hours straight! I know! Gift from God. Now that she is sleeping through the night, I need to relearn. I haven't slept through the night since early in my pregnancy when there wasn't a baby squishing my bladder.

   A couple weeks ago I was really sluggish. I realized it was because I wasn't eating my greens! Eating my dark leafy veggies is super important because it replenishes my calcium and keeps me feeling Popeye status. The only way I can eat these hearty veggies is by dressing them up. When I was breast feeding Monique, I had Kale with Udon noodles every night. Ume plum vinegar literally change my life making it possible for me to eat these greens. If you don't have Ume vinaigrette, please try to get your hands on some! It's turns your greens into a party! I've shared my recipe for greens with Ume plum here. I love this dish with quinoa or udon noodles, which can be found down your international foods isle at specialty stores. To me, this is an elegant, delicious dish, and whenever I have company over, I share this dish with them and everyone loves it! Even my toddlers enjoy it.

  My husband gifted me this shirt. He was really excited to find a statement that embodied one of my major beliefs. I procrastinated wearing it because I don't like to call all kinds of attention to myself. Turns out to be a great conversation starter. Turns out I love to be able to actively promote veggies.

     We often get caught up in the "One Perfect Food" idea. All dark leafy greens are fantastic: bok choy, collard greens, even parsley, are filled with the stuff your body craves. However spinach and chards, greens that leave a sticky feeling in your mouth, don't need to be consumed as frequently. 

   Because kale with ume plum is so darn good, I rarely seek out other ways to consume it. I'm actually pretty apprehensive that I can enjoy it any other way. But when my in-laws shared this rice bowl with me, I knew I had to add it to my circulated recipes! You can find this Spicy Peanut Ginger Kale rice bowl recipe here

   When I made this dish for lunch a few days ago, I didn't have all the ingredients, like the ginger, I just threw in a dash of ginger spice, it was still delicious. This dish is super scrumptious. Put on top of brown rice, it feels like it's from a phenomenal restaurant. I definitely recommending you all trying this one!

   I try to have dark greens at least once a day. I love to eat them for breakfast. This morning I had steamed kale, left-over long grain brown rice and left over potatoes. This meal took under five minutes to make and it was so nutritious and satisfying. 

   What are some of your favorite ways to eat kale? The more I'm learning to love kale the more I'm actually starting to be open to more ideas!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

I was really craving lettuce wraps. I decided to use tempeh because I wanted them to resemble red meat as much as possible. I love the meaty texture tempeh offers! The marinate ended up making the tempeh so moist providing lots of flavor with each bite! So delicious! This is something I would totally serve as an appetizer at a party. But we enjoyed them as dinner. The girls did not give me a hard time about eating them which is a huge plus. I'm always beaming with happiness whenever I see them eating a meal with ginger because ginger is such an immune booster. We served this with broccoli.

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

1/2 Cup Shoyu (or whatever soy sauce you got) 
2 to 2 1/2 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
4 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1/2 Orange
1 Package of Tempeh (8 ounces)
1 Diced Red Bell Pepper
2 Peeled and Diced Carrots
2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil 
Sesame Seeds
Diced Green Onion

1. Whisk shoyu, ginger, water, maple syrup, and juice from the orange in an 8x8 inch dish. Finely dice the tempeh and add it to your sauce. Toss to coat, cover and stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. At medium high heat add sesame oil, tempeh with the sauce, carrots and bell peppers. Cover and let simmer for ten minutes. Flip over and let it simmer for ten more minutes. Remove lid and allow it to brown stirring occasionally. 

3. Let it cool a bit. Fill one leaf of lettuce with about 1/2 cup of tempeh (or less! Depending on the size of your lettuce leaf). Top with sesame seeds and green onion. 

These were so juicy! Totally didn't taste like tempeh. I went a little overboard with the sesame seeds here, but they are actually really good for you, so eat up! 

Alright guys, here is a picture of my 6 week old. She always looks slightly terrified. This is because she has two sisters that are constantly talking baby talk to her, kissing her, starring at her right up against her face and sticking stickers on her. 

Back in the day, I used to make my posts in the evening after the girls went to bed, but our new baby doesn't believe in going to bed before 11:30. Our bed time is 10:00. Way to make us feel old by wanting to stay up later than us. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Spaghetti Casserole

Totally forgot how much work newborns are! I'm going to have to post how to transition from two to three kids. Since everyone is happy and I function without coffee, I feel as though I've perfected the art. 

I hesitated posting this recipe because it is not totally vegan. Big fat apologies to all aspiring vegans out there. My goal is to make this a plant based blog, but I decided to post it anyway because this post is for you people emailing me, asking me how you can make a smooth transition into vegan or vegetarian cooking. 

I love LOVE casseroles. I have always wanted to try The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti but pretty much the only thing I could eat from it were the onions and pasta. Yesterday I broke down and made my own version. I replaced the chicken with zucchinis and created my own vegan cream of mushroom instead of using canned. My cream of mushroom is super easy and didn't have all the bad stuff canned food does. 

This dish took minutes to make and was very little work. The fact that I was able to whip it up quickly with a fussy baby and another child yelling some such at me, says a lot. This dish is for all of you who want to consume less meat on occasion, or those who want to eat Pioneer Woman delicious goodness, but a healthier version. Enjoy!

Yummmm....I do enjoy having a bit of cheese every now and then. Note the cream of mushroom on the bottom of the dish. I'm notorious for skipping steps. Here I skipped the step of mixing all ingredients in a large bowl, which is why the cream is not evenly distributed. 

Cheesy, Veggie, Spaghetti Casserole

About 3 cups brown rice spaghetti pasta
1 Tablespoon vegan butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
20 ounces rice milk
2 Tablespoon white flour
2 diced zucchinis, about 2 cups
1 diced bell pepper
Salt and Pepper
2 cups shredded chedder cheese plus more for the top

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Cook pasta as directed. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté till browned, about five minutes. Add rice milk and whisk in flour. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Let it thicken a bit while you chop your veggies, about ten minutes or less.

3. In a large bowl mix together cooked spaghetti, milk with mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, two cups cheese and a good amount of salt and pepper. Pour into a 8x8 in. casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake for 45 minutes until bubbling. 

Thérèse had just woken up from her nap to eat this. I asked Daniel to do something with her bed hair and this was his technique. She thought it was funny but not a solution. With three girls, giving Daniel a hair styling lesson is now on my list of things to do.

Hoping to share my perfected vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe with you this up-coming week and my mommy survival skills! I'm going to need to post up-dated pictures of my baby. Her growth has been rapid. I call her my Jolly Red Giant. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Favorite Plant Based Sandwich

I'm sorry I haven't posted anything in a week! Daniel went back to work last week and the girls and I enjoyed having different company over every day. It's great to have a new baby so you have an excuse to have people over. Daniel picked up laundry duty when I went back to school, so this week I did laundry for the first time in eleven months! I don't know why people complain about laundry so much. It's so darn exciting. 

Being home alone with the girls is slightly challenging. The biggest challenge has been finding time to eat, let alone cook my food. Since I'm so anti-processed food, I realized I needed to make up a few meals to have on hand so I could have instant healthy food. Tuesday my in-laws took the girls for the day so I could do visit with my old friend, laundry, and make some food to have in the fridge. I made:

* Hummus
Swiss chard pot stickers (only up to the folding part so when we were ready to eat, I just fried them up and they tasted fresh)
* Vegan Paella (from Paltrow's My Father's Daughter. I love this dish!)
I made something else, but I'm sleep deprived. So parts of my brain sleep during the day since it can't sleep at night. 

This is what I made with the hummus throughout the week. This sandwich is perfect for us. Daniel runs and swims almost every day, and often bikes to work, so he needs lots of protein and most importantly fat. I'm nursing a giant (she gained a pound and a half her first two weeks. holy cow) so clearly I am working harder than Daniel and need the fats even more than he does. Remember, being on a plant based diet the biggest challenge is getting enough fat, not protein! But these fats will keep you slender.

This sandwich is very near and dear to my heart. It was one of the first vegan meals I ever ate as a teenager. A local health food restaurant made this and I loved how delicious and satisfying it was. It's refreshing for summer and has lots of natural fats your body and brain need. Here is my rendition. 

Summer Veg Sandwich


2 slices of bread (I use Ezekiel, but you can use something lighter)
2-3 Tbsp. hummus
1-2 tsp. sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp. Veganaise
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
4 slices tomatoes
1 c. loosely packed alfalfa sprouts(these guys get a bad rep. Lay off the hateful talk, they are awesome!)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and grated

1) Spread hummus over one slice of bread. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds. 

2) Spread Veganise over other slice of toast and layer avocado evenly over it.

3) Put tomato slices over avocado, then top with cucumber and alfalfa sprouts. Close with the slice of bread with hummus. 

Serves 1 good! I love the sweet and nutty taste this sandwich has. 

It was nice to have food made so I could hang out with these people. 

I will be making more meals ahead of time and more quick meals too. I'll be sharing! 

I want to thank all of you for welcoming my baby and giving me such a warm welcome back into the blogging world. To those who have written me, sorry I haven't gotten a chance to write all of you a personal email back. You are much appreciated and thought of! 

By the way, I would like to discourage you all from buying soft tofu. We got soft tofu instead of firm tofu this week and the texture is even less exciting than laundry. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Indulgence

     I don't consider myself vegan. I consider myself on a plant based diet. Vegan focuses on the negative, someone who does not eat animal products. While a plant based diet focuses on what you can eat, everything grown from the earth! My body functions best when eating plant based, so we don't have packaged foods in our home. However, some days I like to indulge in food from my past. In these rare occasions, I eat vegan, because even though these options will be imitation, they don't contain all the hormones and saturated fat that I don't miss. I'm surprised how much I really don't miss meat. 

    I wanted a vegan hot dog! We got Light Life vegan dogs. They can be grilled so they are actually really good. We went crazy and got white flour hot dog buns. I know. Living on the wild side at our house. We never have white flour, so I was loving every bite. Topped with sauteed bell peppers and onions, delicious! I was having a really fatty craving, wanted me some tatter tots! Tatter tots rank on the top ten list of what was great about public elementary school. 

      I love getting to enjoy naughty food like this on rare occasion. Because it is vegan, I don't feel gross or fat afterwards! Love that. 

     It is a fact that it is impossible to have a bad day after waking up to this. 

What foods do you like to indulge in? I'm nursing so I'm always looking for ideas!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Powerhouse Vegan Tacos & Girl Time

   I haven't blogged about food for a while. Now that I'm nursing, I'm constantly starving, so I thought now would be a perfect time to start sharing some of my new favorite recipes. 

   These tacos are a huge lifesaver for me. I really miss fast food tacos. The problem with fast food tacos though, is they are made of chemicals and preservatives, making them a sluggish, sickening food. I came up with these tacos instead to meet my hard shell, fattening taco craving. 

   I make my hard shell tacos out of tempeh, which can be found at your health food store (Trader Joe's included) by the tofu. It's loaded with protein and fiber so it's an athletes food. Also, it's got a meaty texture to it so it's very satisfying. 

   Here are my taco toppings. Many vegans love to top their tacos with faux cheeses or tofu based sour creams, but I think those ingredients take away from the flavors of the delicious variety of veggies I top on my taco. I need fats right now 'cause I'm nursing. So olives and avocados are a must. Lettuce, tomatoes and bell peppers  also get thrown on. I could have used some cilantro today too.

   People think that vegans don't get enough protein, but actually, it's the fat content that we have to worry about. Especially vegan athletes and busy Mamas. Same thing right? Avocados, nuts and olives are healthy fats that won't stick to your thighs or hug your tummy.

   Something else I love about these tacos is that they are super easy! I finely dice a block of tempeh to mimic ground beef. Throw it in a lightly oiled pan over medium heat. Cover slightly with vegetable stock and season with taco seasoning. Use the taco season liberally as that is what gives the tempeh flavor. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add Veggie stock if getting too dry. Brown a bit. That's it! 

   I'm really craving protein right now. So even though tempeh is full of protein, I threw in a can of drained and rinsed black beans for good measure.

    I love my "taco meat" on crunchy taco shells. They would also be good on pan fried corn tortillas or in a big burrito. Yummy!

    I'm a big taco lover, so I'll be posting more favorite taco recipes.

   Yesterday we had mandatory girl day in our house. All my to-do lists got put away and I spent all day playing with the girls. First thing in the morning we made brownies. I love this recipe because it's white-flour, dairy and refined sugar-free. We also played lots of restaurant with some felt food I made them. Playing with their felt food made me want to make more. So today, when Athena woke up at the horrific hour of five a.m, and Thérèse followed by waking at six, we started researching our next felt project. Thérèse requested this ice cream cone. How incredibly cool is the waffle cone? So easy too. You can find the tutorial here.  

I have more felt projects planned! Can't wait to execute them. With allllll my free time. 

Hope y'all are getting your solid eight hours in. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Week with Baby

This first week has flown by! Everyday I wanted to blog, but by the time everyone was in bed, I wanted to be there with them! By the middle of the week, the lack of sleep caught up with me. Poor Daniel is the one who had to deal with my sleep deprived hostility. He told me I didn't have postpartum, he said I had the post-hate'ems. Sorry, dear. 

Monique holding her new baby sister. 
One of her first requests right out of bed in the morning.

Monique is wearing one of the first onesies 
Daniel and I bought at  Gap 
when we found out we were expecting Thérèse. 
Crazy that soon our THIRD will be wearing it as well!

We usually spend a lot of time reading, but this week, we have been reading even more than usual since that was one of the only things I could really do with them. We have a giant Dr. Seuss collection book from my cousin, and yeah, we powered through that thing in one day. 

A sweet friend gave me these nursing smocks to wear after I had the baby. I love them! While I wore them, I spent half the time loving them and the other half hating that I didn't have some for my past two home births. They are so comfortable. We just kept washing them so I could rewear them. But by day five of wearing them, Daniel told me I needed to stop pretending I was in a hospital. I hesitated, because I was trying to figure out how to explain to him that I was planning on spending the rest of my life in them. Paired with leggings would make them trendy, right?

Daniel is such a natural with newborns. While I always forget how to treat them or what we are supposed to do with them, he always picks up right where we left off. Amazing. 

First bath or "pleasure bath" as the midwife calls it. Turned out to be shear torture for her. I kept telling Daniel that it's a good thing this isn't our first kid or we would be freaking out, "Oh no! Why is she crying?! Something's wrong! She's dying!" I love not being a first time parent anymore. 

I love how baby lips and cheeks marsh mellow out when sleeping.

We gave the girls "Big Sister" gifts to congratulate them on becoming big sisters. I made them a card that told them how special being a big sister is and some of the new responsibilities it would bring. Thérèse loved it. She wanted me to read that card over and over again throughout the day. 

Notice how I have retired my post-labor nursing smock. Daniel always tells me he prefers me without make-up, never notices when my hair isn't done or cares when I forget to shave. So when the guy asks me to be a little more feminine, I'm not going to complain. Wearing my much loved nursing tank instead. 

Please note the raised eyebrows to keep the sleepy eyes open. 

Dividing the gifts. When they share, I have hope for the whole human race.
Or at least for my sanity. 

I'm super against giving videos as gifts to kids. 
But these Sign Language videos are amazing. 
They say when  kids learn sign language it opens up a whole new area of their brain
We dragged our feet with teaching Monique ASL. 
So glad we did though! 
It's nice to communicate with her without fits or tantrums.
They love being able to communicate their needs.
And even though Thérèse can talk, she still loves the videos.

I also made them a felt board.
I had a lot of fun making it. Felt is very forgiving!
It was a lot of fun getting to be crafty and sew again after so many months of homework.
I used a friend's tutorial as a guide.
I added a library, helicopter and a slide that Thérèse says the little girls broke 
because they are too big for it. Proportions may or may not be accurate. 

The girls put up their felt town like it was a 'Wizard of Oz' tornado.
Monique may not aspire to be everything her sister is, but when Thérèse is acting goofy, Monique jumps on that. 

I love this cause the girls can use their imagination.
Nice, quiet gift. 
Already planning my next sewing project!

Jesse and Bullseye. Who else did you think it was? 

Daniel did an art project with the girls.
And they started an art gallery in our hall which I love!

Newborn baby pictures! 
Soak up the youth! 

Took a great nap today and I'm ready to get back to normal life. 
No more of this recovery nonsense.
Anxious to get back in the kitchen and get moving. 
I've already started doing light yoga and swimming,
but yes...still taking it very easy.
I love having my body back and getting to enjoy my new baby!