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Week-29

“A portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014″ – A photo project …

Now that Al is about 7 months, we’re introducing solids into her diet. We’re focusing on baby led weaning to let her learn and explore as she wishes. Our friends delivered some fresh organic blueberries last week, and we thought we’d let her go crazy with the mesh feeder.

See the other photos in this series.

Last weekend, we were excited to document a day from start to finish. I’ve always loved these posts from fellow bloggers, but I felt like a brat for taking part before we had kids. “Hey everyone, look how much free time we have!!!” … Well, now that we’re 7 months into this whole parenting thing, I thought it would be so fun to share a bit of our weekend.

Here we go! This is our Sunday, July 27, 2014

7:00 am – Alba wakes us up. We’re in the midst of sleep training, and teething, so as you can imagine, life is a real party right now. We’re still co-sleeping, and I didn’t know it at the time, but this would be the last morning with her co-sleeper before switching to the pack and play. Our weekend mornings are something I treasure. We usually lay in bed together, chat, change Al, I nurse her, and we slowly make our way out of bed. At some point, I decided we needed to have pancakes for breakfast, so I found my bible (aka, Isa Does It … an amazing vegan cookbook). July-51July-52July-55July-53July-57

7:45 am – We made our way out of our room, Al got to play on the floor for a bit, and I started making breakfast. Up until about a month or so ago, I was eating a pretty strict gluten free diet. I decided it was stealing my will to eat, and I bought a bag of organic flour. OHMYGOSH, I’ve been making cookies, muffins, and pancakes. I’m out of control. Well, out of vegan control … I promise, this food is so good! While I was cooking, Jimmy fed the dogs, turned on a record, and went in the living room to torture Alba with a faux fur rug.

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8:30 am – Breakfast is ready. We had the pancakes (which surprisingly turned out really freaking awesome, like restaurant pancakes) with vegan sausage, hash browns (my Indiana is showing), and fresh organic blueberries. We are just starting baby led weaning with Alba (more on that soon), and while we usually let her explore her food, we thought she’d love some blueberries in her little mesh feeder. The mess makes my heart happy. She goes insane with food … This girl is obviously my daughter. The dogs happen to be pretty big fans of baby led weaning.

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9:00 am – We finished breakfast, and it was time for Al’s first nap of the day. Again, we are sleep training, so our life is moving in 2 – 2.5 hour increments. We put her in our room, and split up to conquer some daily tasks. I took a look at the sink, and wanted to cry. J offered to do dishes while I made a grocery list. I ended up not making a grocery list, and I honestly have no clue what I did with my time. Napped? J did an awesome job on the dishes, and he wins the best partner award!

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11:30 am - Alba woke from her nap, and I got the room ready for her 6 month photos. She’ll be 7 months old in a few days, so hey, I’m right on time. Ha. Better late than never. She didn’t smile at all. Apparently photos right after her nap aren’t a great idea. After photos, I nursed her, gave her a bottle to supplement, and she was a happy gal.

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12:30 pm – We got ready for a hike through Forest Park. We were so excited to try our new (to us) Kelty backpack. This weekend was insanely gorgeous. Even though it was 80 near our house, it was probably 70ish on the trail. My oh my, my heart was happy.

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12:50 pm – We arrived at Lower Macleay Park, and geared up. I absolutely loved seeing Al’s little legs hanging from the backpack. While our girl is quite the chubster, there are still moments when she seems so tiny. I was dreading this hike … last time we did, I had to stop like 7 times to catch my breath. I don’t love overexerting myself. More like, I prefer to lay in a lawn chair and drink margaritas. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to stop once!!! I was so proud of myself. Since I’ve started a fitness plan about a month ago, I’ve been walking hills a ton, and apparently it’s paying off. We reached the top of our hike (the Audubon Society), and stopped in for a quick drink. Alba was obsessed with the stuffed creatures. I’m sure taxidermy is not considered vegan, but really, she was obsessed (laughing and smiling so big). She loves animals! After a little break, we hopped back on the trail to head back down to the car.

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2:15 pm – We got back to the car, and Al was passed out. We thought we’d head down to the waterfront to watch the floats and boats. Of course, baby girl had different plans. We got stuck on the Burnside Bridge while some boats passed under, and she started screaming. We changed course, and headed back home. Since she was ready for another nap, we put her down, and had a bit more time to get stuff done around the house. Jimmy went out back to set posts for his new hammock, and I decided to play on my computer, eat some spaghetti, and watch Real Housewives of New Jersey. I’m a real catch. Also, our house is being taken over by baby things. I will never understand how all of it just creeps into your life!!

July-117July-121July-118July-124July-1204:45 pm – Princess Al woke up, we cuddled on the couch for a few minutes, then went out to see what papa was up to. We looked at our gardens, and picked some cherry tomatoes. We picked our first San Marzano later that night.

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5:15 pm – We came inside to play on the floor and Skype with Gigi (my mom). J came in from outside, and turned on the Timbers game. I never thought I’d say it, but I am officially a soccer fan.

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5:45 pm – I jumped into the kitchen to start dinner. On the menu … Black bean and sweet potato enchiladas. Yummm! I cut up some sweet potato to steam for Al, and poured myself a glass of rosé. Papa and Al had some beer and formula, and Skyped with Grandma Jane.

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7:05 pm - Baby starts to breakdown, so we did a diaper change and headed into our room to start bedtime. Bedtime is soul crushing. We don’t do cry it out, but I do allow Al to lay in her bed while I read a book (for myself) next to her. She does cry, but I am there to comfort her, make shhhh noises, and pat her back. She fights sleep so bad, and just when I think she’s out, she pops back up with a wail. Sleep training sucks, but it’s necessary. We head to our family doctor this Friday for more tools and information on self-soothing.

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8:15 pm – She’s finally asleep, and we get to eat our overcooked dinner. Our goal is to eat each night before she goes to bed, but as any of you with kids know, babies go from OK to meltdown in a about 5 minutes. Dinner was awesome. Wine was awesome. I pumped, then had another glass of wine. We watched a bit of Naked and Afraid before J was a saint and agreed to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians. We went outside to pick our first roma tomato, and J showed me these weird purple clovers that ‘made noise’ … I never heard the noise. Ha.

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10:00 pm – We headed to bed. We were tired, but our hearts felt full. It was a lovely weekend, and a really nice day.

Oh yeah, I was prompted to do this Day in the Life by Laura over at Navigating the Mothership. She’s one of my favorite bloggers, and she’s a super mama of 3 littles. I love her perspective, and ‘voice’.

  • Sarah - This is so great! :) Those enchiladas look amazzzzing! Do you have a link for them or are they from that cookbook? Also, Naked & Afraid is THE BEST reality show everrrr! haha. I am always telling people about it. Hilarious!ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - The enchiladas are from my brain!! :) I just cook some sweet potatoes, throw in some black beans, and season with cumin, red pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt & pepper. Then, add in some onion and let it all cook down. I then mixed in some rice to the mixture before putting into tortillas. I rolled them up, put them in the pain, poured on the enchiladas sauce (canned), and topped with fake cheese. They should bake for 20 minutes of 350, but these went wayyyy long.ReplyCancel

  • Kaitlin Sieber - Loved this. It helps that you have MAD photography skills. :)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Chow - What a beautiful family Sunday. Our weekends are filled with coffee shops and local diners. I am envious of Alba’s long naps. We’re still in 30 minute nap territory and I never get a minute to myself. ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - Oh friend!! It’ll come. She is still not too good at napping alone, but we’re working on it. She’s napping in the Ergo right now!ReplyCancel

Go-Vegan

It’s the post I’ve wanted to write a hundred times. I was constantly living on this tipping point between vegetarianism and veganism, and I knew which way I wanted to fall.

Well folks, it’s official … I am happily declaring myself as VEGAN!

After Al was born, I ate dairy free and gluten free for a month. After that, I went another three months with absolutely no animal products. Sometime around the time she was 4 or 5 months old, I was majorly craving cheese and eggs, and I ate them. When we went to Indiana in June, all bets were off. I didn’t give myself any dietary restrictions (aside from not eating meat, which is a non-issue with me … wouldn’t do it), and I ate a ton of dairy and eggs. When we arrived back in Portland, I looked as if I was 5 months pregnant. I just felt like shit … I felt guilty, and really unhealthy.

That was it. I was done with consuming anything from animals.

I talked with my friend Jen (also a vegan), and she helped me sort my feelings … She mentioned that whenever she had a craving, or questioned her journey, she always came back to her “why”. I think everyone has a different “why”, but here is mine:

After having Alba, I got to experience the most beautiful relationship of my life: breastfeeding my daughter. No bond will ever feel stronger. Even though it hasn’t been easy or worked out the way I thought it would, I am so thankful for every drop of breast milk. Because of this, there was NO WAY I could eat cheese or dairy. The hard truth is that most dairy cows are separated from their calves very shortly after birth, hooked to machines several times a day (often resulting in infections, mastitis, and pain), and soon after, forcefully inseminated again to start the process all over again. Their calves are either used as dairy cows (starting the cycle all over again), and others are sent to be turned into veal. Sure that might be all they know, but I’ve had a baby. I know the bond … it’s chemicals … it’s hormones … it’s primal. I just couldn’t be a part of that.

As for eggs, I was torn. The chickens don’t die … so why stop eating them? Well, the chickens DO die. When the chicks hatch or arrive at the facility, they are sexed. Male chicks are discarded. They are usually thrown into a big drum, and  suffocate under the weight of their brothers. The surviving chicks are not treated humanely (even when the package claims so), and their beaks are clipped or burnt to avoid them hurting each other. Again, I just can’t be a part of that.

My “why” for vegetarianism was that I don’t think it’s okay to put my life above an animal’s. More specifically, I value animal life, and my dinner isn’t an important enough reason for them to die. And now, my “why” for veganism is that while I wasn’t consuming animal flesh, I was still contributing to the pain and suffering of animals, and since I have the choice, I choose compassion. I love the documentary Vegucated, and would suggest it to anyone. It’s entertaining, and full of information about the vegan lifestyle.

Since mid-June, I’ve been eating a vegan diet. It’s been awesome. I’ve learned a ton of new recipes, ingredients, and methods of cooking. I’ve made amazing dinners, baked goods, and other fun vegan ‘challenges’. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen our #jandreats hashtag, which is full of vegan food (often gluten free, too).

I’ll admit, I have craved a cheese pizza from time to time, but the craving passes (I just think of my “why”). I’ve never felt better about what I’m eating, and I’ve even lost 8 pounds. Because I am breastfeeding, I am taking a few supplements each day: iron, B-12, Vitamin D, and a tincture for breastmilk production. As Alba starts eating solids, I’m so excited to introduce my baby to a healthy vegan diet. Yes, for now, we’re going to raise her vegan. She’ll eat a wide variety of beans, veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds. We’ll avoid processed foods as much as we can, and as we start our baby led weaning adventure, it all just feels right.

I plan on sharing weekly grocery hauls, meal ideas, and vegan philosophy here. I am happy to answer any questions … I know this seems very weird or foreign to some, but to me, it’s easy. When I have the inspiration I do, it’s not hard to stick with it. I am thankful to live in a time where I have the choice to live with compassion towards all living beings.

  • Tiffany - I don’t know if you are open to this option or not, but if you ever did want eggs, you could always get some chickens! I hate the way chickens are treated commercially, it’s so sad! My husband and I have two lovely gals: Peggy and Joan. It’s so nice to have eggs that not only taste better than the supermarket, they come from happy chickens. :) We’ll never eat our chickies! Or, easier, you could always find a friend who has chickens.ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - I went back and forth on this so many times!! Unfortunately, most backyard chickens come from that same system (people only want female birds … In Portland, roosters are illegal, so they are killed). Because of that, it’s not an option for us. I have thought about adopting some spent chickens and letting them live out their days in our yard. If they happened to lay an egg, I’d just let them eat it.ReplyCancel

Week-28

“A portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014″ – A photo project …

As it turns out, when it reaches 95 degrees in Portland, stores run out of baby pools. Thankfully a friend reminded us that the pet shop sells baby pools. It may have a dog bone on it, but who cares?! Baby girl loved splashing around in her first pool.

See the other photos in this series.