Thursday, January 31, 2008

Davey's learning how to hunt buses

Have I posted how we're looking for a nanny again? I'm not sure, actually! Marina, who we absolutely love, went back to school earlier this month and can now only work on Mondays and Thursdays. While we go through the (painful) process of finding another nanny, Mark is taking care of Davey Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday so that I can get my work done. So far he's been able to find people to cover the shop so that he can do that. Meanwhile, we're also searching for nannies.

That said, Mark is always hunting for cars, too. I mean, that's Mark, right?

Yesterday Mark had a couple buses to look at on the outskirts of Vacaville so he took Davey with him. Davey slept on the drive there (at least he got a good nap!) and then got to see a couple buses and some chickens, which he loved, of course. This was Davey's second bus hunting trip in a month; the first being in Bolinas a few weeks ago with both Mark and I.

Mark is training Davey in the art of hunting buses.

God help us all.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A crab feast!

Everyone feasts on crab, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

What happens when you gather a bunch of family and close friends, lay out a bunch of newspaper and buy a bunch of Dungeness crab? A crab feast!

Polly hosted a Dungeness crab feast at her house on Sunday evening. In attendance were Dad and Linda, Gregg, Bonnie, Jon and Laureen, Roberta and Eddie, Mark and I and, of course, Rozzie and Davey. Prescott was at an Warriors basketball game with Garrie, so sadly he missed out. We did turn on the game on the TV for a while, hoping to catch a glimpse of the boys.

So -- 10 adults and 10 crab. YUM. Jon brought homemade tartar sauce, regular hummus and sun dried tomato hummus (YUM) and meyer lemons from their tree. Polly supplied the crabs. Dad brought a huge bottle of French champenoise and bottles of wine. Bonnie brought cheesecake with cherries. Eddie and Roberta brought a couple of quiches and a big, frozen bottle of Skyy vodka. Mark and I brought salad greens, 2-1/2 loaves of Acme sourdough and homemade vegan lemon bars.

Yes, we stuffed ourselves silly and (most of us) enjoyed getting drippy and crab-covered hands and forearms. We've gotta do more of this.

As Davey's not allowed to have crab, we brought him some left over coq au vin for his supper, and of course, I made the lemon bars especially so he could have some.

Lemon bars

You know, those lemon bars tasted pretty darned great! Instead of the traditional lemon curd filling, which contains lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, egg yolks and butter, the recipe I used from The Joy of Vegan Baking called for lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, silken tofu, corn starch and flour. The texture was spot-on and the flavor was terrific. The crust, of course, contained vegan margarine rather than butter, and other than that was made of powdered sugar and flour. Simple and tasty. Yeah, the crust would taste better with butter -- what doesn't? -- but it still tasted good and it was totally Davey safe. Not only that, but Davey LOVED the lemon bars, and everyone else ate a whole lot of them as well. I'm glad I made a double batch!

Davey, Mark and Mark's hat

Lemon Bars

1/2c non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter, at room temperature
1/4c confectioner's sugar
1c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2c silken tofu (soft or firm)
1c granulated sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
1/3c lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
2tb unbleached all-purpose flour
1tb cornstarch
Confectioner's sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan with canola oil or cooking spray and sprinkle with a light dusting of all-purpose flour.

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and beat until the dough just comes together. Press in to bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

To make the filling, in a food processor or blender, add the tofu and blend until creamy. Add the granulated sugar and blend until nice and smooth. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour and cornstarch and blend until smooth. Pour the filling over the baked shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

To serve, cut the squares or bars and dust with the sifted confectioner's sugar. Wait until you're just about to serve the bars before sprinkling them with the sugar, otherwise it will soak in to the bars and become invisible.

Best eaten the day they're made.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Random cute photos

Oh, by the way, weaning seems to be complete. Though I may miss it more than Davey at this point. The most he bugs me about it now is to put his hand down my shirt from time to time, but he's just playing, and sometimes when he's thirsty, he slaps my upper chest. I bring him some soy milk and he's happy. Hmm.

And now, some cute photos taken within the last week:

Time for a peaceful nap

Playing with sand


Watch out, he's got sticks

Father and son

One more vaccine down

Stunt baby, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

I won't lie -- this vaccine appointment made me nervous in the past few days. In order to get the Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine, because it's egg based, we had to take the Davey and a couple doses of the vaccine to Davey's allergist. Even though I want Davey to have vaccinations and I don't buy in to the scare of MMR causing Autism, that creepy thought was still in the back of my mind. That, on top of knowing we were having the allergist give the vaccine because of the worry of an allergic reaction was wearing on my worry nerve.

In the end, it all went fine. We went to the allergist's with Davey and the vaccine. They put us in an exam room with toys for Davey to play with for the duration of the long visit. First they did a skin test with 3 scratches: distilled water, histamine and a diluted vaccine. Then we waited for half an hour to see if he reacted. Nope -- the only reaction was to the histamine (a control) and not to the diluted vaccine. Then, on the other arm, they did a very small injection of the full-strength vaccine just under the skin and waited for half an hour. Again, no allergic reaction. Then, after the doctor checked him out, the nurse gave him the full dose of vaccine in his upper thigh. Ouch, that was a lot of fluid to inject. Poor Davey.

After the first pricks with the skin test, Davey shied away from the nurse. By the second shot, he shook his head, "no," when she went towards his other arm. By the time it came to the real vaccine, there were two (very nice) nurses and he was struggling to get away from them. Poor little guy. That said, he didn't cry very long at all after each ordeal and was a total trooper.

On the way home, he was asleep really quickly, as he'd missed his nap earlier in the day and it was 3:30. Mark and I needed coffee, so we stopped for a few minutes to get coffee for ourselves and I picked up a small tablet of dark (80% cacao) chocolate for a post-ordeal treat for Davey. He loved it, of course.

He seemed a bit cranky by the time we got home. We think he's also teething, based on more drool and sticking his fingers in his mouth the past couple days. So just in case, I gave him some baby Motrin (which he loves) and he got much happier within 15 minutes. Then he ate a big dinner of pasta e fagioli, a tangerine, half a container of soy yogurt with cereal and a bunch of soy milk. Then he ran around the house dancing, playing with us and laughing. That's our boy!

Phew, I'm glad THAT'S over!

Friday, January 18, 2008

What's thiiis?

What's thiiis?, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

"Okay, Mom, I ate two servings of fish and two servings of GABA brown rice. I'll keep eating that stuff all night long. But what is this stuff you've been trying to sneak in?"

Red chard. Quite tasty, actually.

Can't blame a mom for trying...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting better all the time

Wow, today marked a new milestone: David awoke and didn't cry to get our attention! Plus, it was 7am!

Mark has been putting David to bed since last Wednesday night and it seems to have been getting a bit easier each night. Mark said that they played and read together last night until Davey pointed to the light, which means, "Okay, please turn off the light; I'm ready to go to sleep." Once Mark turned off the light, Davey was asleep, snuggled against Mark, very quickly. So fast, in fact, that Mark didn't have time to dress David in his Sleep Sack.

Around 10, I went in and David was so sound asleep that I was able to dress him in his sleep sack without disturbing even his breathing rhythm.

Beyond that, he simply slept all through the night!

At 6am, I heard him fuss for less than a minute and then quiet. I closed my eyes again and the next time I opened my eyes it was after 7 and I could hear Davey babbling to himself, happily, in his crib. That was the first time he's woken in his crib and not cried. He's in the best mood today, too.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Davey safe blueberry lemon muffins

Blueberry lemon muffins, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

I finally found a vegan baking book that looks worth the money! It's called "The Joy of Vegan Baking" by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Yesterday morning I made my first experimental recipe from the book: blueberry lemon muffins, and I must say, they're pretty tasty! Rather than eggs, the recipe calls for baking soda and vinegar for leavening and instead of butter the recipe calls for canola oil.

Of course they'd likely taste better made with butter, but these rose high, taste good, Davey can eat them without breaking out with hives and he likes 'em. Yeah!

Blueberry Lemon Muffins
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of 2 lemons
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup nondairy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tb white distilled vinegar
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over to remove stems

Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly grease your muffin tins

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, milk, oil, lemon extract and vinegar. Mix will. Add the flour mixture, stirring until the ingredients are just blended. Gently fold in the berries, using a rubber spatula.

Fill greased or nonstick muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake until the muffins are lightly browned and a wooden skewer inserted in to the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. While the muffins are baking, lick the bowl clean -- no eggs means you can!

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

Sniffing flowers

Sniffing flowers, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

We had a little family outing today to Bolinas, where Mark purchased a VW bus. After the rain of the past couple weeks, today was a beautiful reprieve. Out at the coast, there was nary a breeze nor a cloud in the sky. It was in the high sixties, most likely, and the hills were green with flowers beginning to pop up. It was nearly spring-like!

Playing with the birdbath

While Mark inspected the bus and talked with the (now former) owner, Davey and I walked up and down the dirt road, looking at flowers statues, dogs, with me doing my best to keep Davey from dancing in the mud-puddles. I felt badly to keep him from splashing in the puddles, but I hadn't thought to bring a change of clothes for him and I couldn't let him get completely soaked and muddy so far from home. Soon, Davey, soon... your time in a mud-puddle will come!

After Mark bought the bus, Mark drove the bus and Davey and I followed behind in the truck. We stopped at Stinson Beach for lunch at the Parkside Cafe. Sadly, the Parkside Cafe, once one of the best breakfast joints around, was very disappointing and over-priced. Oh well -- all good things come to an end.

After the disappointing lunch, we stopped at the playground in the park for Davey to burn off some energy. He had fun on the slide, playing in the sand and meeting a 10-month-old boy. Davey and the other boy tentatively touched each other and sniffed flowers. It was very sweet!

Making a friend

On the way home, Davey and I stopped in Mill Valley to visit my uncle Jon Dreyer and check out his latest home rennovations. The new kitchen and redone floors look great!

And the weaning is going pretty well. So far we haven't nursed since he woke last Wednesday morning. He's been going to sleep a little easier each night and last night he woke at his usual 4am but went back to sleep pretty quickly and was up for the day about 6:20. I'm happy this is working, but it still makes me a bit sad. sigh

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A good mood day

P1160257, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

All in all, it was a lovely day and Davey was in a great mood. Okay, so he had a two hour nap this morning because he slept to poorly the night before. But after the nap he was a smiling bundle of energy with a big appetite.

After Marina left, Davey and I ventured out to Costco where, in between bites of fruit leather and dried fruit, Davey charmed surrounding patrons. What with the gray and drizzly weather, there wasn't much more we could do outside the home, so we went back in to our cozy abode. Davey played while I cooked up one of his favorite meals: pasta with meat and veggie tomato sauce.

At one point I looked in to the living room and Love Shack had just come on the radio. Davey was standing in front of the speakers, twisting his body, waving his hands in the air, doing squats and doing his general style of dance and smiling. He was absolutely adorable!

All in all, he was just Mr. Smiley all day long and a joy to be around.

When Mark got home from work, Davey was ready for bed, so Mark did the honors. So far so good!

Weaning update: Day 1

Well, nobody slept all that well last night! When Davey doesn't sleep, we don't sleep well either (duh).

Mark got Davey down to sleep fairly quickly, with Davey drinking a big cup of soy-milk, reading a book and then falling asleep in Mark's arms while Mark rubbed his back. Throughout the evening, however, Davey would wake and cry and eventually go back to sleep. He slept soundly, or at least quietly, from about 11 until 4. Then he awoke at 4 and fussed and fussed and fussed. We didn't go and get him, we just lay in bed, willing Davey to go back to sleep. I dozed off and on, so I'm not sure if Davey got any more sleep or not. Eventually we all got up a little before 7. Mark got Davey out of bed, took him to the kitchen where Davey downed half a cup of soy-milk in one big gulp... and so far so good since then.

He's obviously tired and destined for an early nap today. He's tried to lie down in my lap to nurse a couple times, and my reaction was to snuggle and hug him, tell him I loved him and offer him a cup of soy-milk.

I think I've gone up at least a cup size since last night.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Oops -- I almost forgot

One more big piece of news: I've been weaning David for the past couple months, gradually taking our nursing sessions down to bedtime and at 5am when he wakes and we bring him to bed with us to sleep for a couple more hours.

Well, tonight I didn't nurse David and Mark put him to sleep. We'll endeavor to not nurse him when he wakes between 4 and 5 and just let him "cry it out" and put himself back to sleep.

This is very bittersweet.

sniff sniff

15 Month Update

Today Davey had his 15 month well-baby visit (he turned 15 months old on Monday) and got a nice, clean bill of health. While he's still light enough to not be on the weight chart, he has continued to grow along an acceptable curve. He's still too light to sit in a forward-facing car seat though. D'oh! So much for that Christmas present I gave Davey, huh? We'll have to wait for a bit longer.

Hey, I got a new seat!

Here are his official stats!

Weight: 18lbs-14oz (+1lb-4oz in 3 months)
Length: 30-1/2" (+1" in 3 months ~45th percentile)
Head circum: 19" (+1/2" in 3 months ~75th percentile)

I've been concerned that he's not getting enough fat in his diet so I brought that up. What with being allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts and being told to stay away from shellfish, just in case, it's not as though there are a lot of high fat foods that we can feed David. When I read the nutrition labels on the full-fat soy milk a week ago, it turns out there's 1g less fat in whole-fat soy milk than in low-fat cow's milk. If David could drink cow's milk, he'd be drinking whole milk because babies need the fat for brain and nerve development. Ack! I found that Silk makes a variety of organic soy milk that contains extra Omega-3 fatty acids, which increases the fat to 5 grams per serving (as opposed to 4 for the regular soy milk). Even so, the lack of fat in his diet worries me. Dr. Lee could understand my concerns and gave us a referral to a pediatric nutritionist so we can find ways to get more calories and fat in to Davey. I've since called and left a message to make an appointment.

Then it was time for his 15 month vaccinations. He was due to get the MMR and Chicken Pox vaccines. However, because of his egg allergies, they wouldn't do the MMR vaccine. Instead, the vaccination will be done by Davey's allergist, at the allergist's office. The way it will work is that we will pick up two doses of the MMR vaccine from the pediatrician, take it with us to the allergist's office, the allergist will use some of the 1st dose for a skin test and, if Davey doesn't react badly to the skin test, the allergist will administer the 2nd dose. FUN (not!).

He cried when he got his Chicken Pox vaccine, but got over it quickly. Then, because he didn't sleep well last night and, I think, combined with the vaccination excitement of the morning, he took a 2 hour long, exhausted, nap in the late morning. Then ate two bowls of his new favorite dish: pasta e fagiole. Late in the afternoon Mark, David and I went to the Northgate mall so David could run free in large, dry, warm open spaces.

Last but not least -- we found out yesterday that our wonderful nanny, Marina, is going to stop working for us in a couple weeks. She's going to be taking courses at College of Marin starting the week of January 21 and from that point on will only be able to work (maybe) on Mondays and Thursdays. I'm so sad about losing her, but I understand. We're going to miss her... And now we have to find another nanny. God I hate having to find a nanny.

Hm. This is a little bit of a downer post, isn't it? I'll endeavor to write something more upbeat in the next day or two.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

No dairy, no eggs, no nuts. But...

...nobody said nuthin' about no chocolate!

Davey likes dark chocolate, so that makes a dandy special treat for him. Today he got to experience warm, melted, dark Belgian chocolate, straight from the piping bag. Mmmm.

Davey loves jazz

I popped in "Dance of the Drunken Master" by Groove Collective this morning and Davey's been dancing and smiling like crazy. He keeps going to the coffee table, where the CD is playing in my laptop, and dancing and laughing. Davey loves acid jazz. That's our boy!