Posts Tagged ‘
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
2 years, 8 months.
Mommy made some more awesome vegan chocolate cupcakes this weekend, from that recipe on the blog Oh She Glows. She had told you that you could have one after lunch today.
However, you hadn’t eaten much of your quesadilla before you were asking for your cupcake.
“I’m full. I want my cupcake. I want to hold it,” you told us.
(I like the fact that you were somewhat implying that you just wanted to hold the cupcake, not eat it.)
Mommy and I explained to you that if you were too full to eat the rest of your actual lunch, then you were definitely too full for a treat.
You’re a clever kid. Let me just say that.
We heard you grunting and straining. We were confused as to what you were doing.
“Jack, are you trying to make room for dessert?” Mommy asked.
The sly look on your face gave it away. Yes. That’s exactly what you were trying to do!
Nicely done. It worked.
Mommy and I decided to let you have a very small bite of your cupcake before your noontime nap.
You’ll get the rest of it later.
But honestly, it was as simple as us not wanting you to strain yourself too hard. After all, Mommy had already changed a dirty diaper of yours this morning while we were at the shoe store.
So we weren’t sure that you had much more to… push out.
I’ve heard of saving room for dessert, but never making room for dessert.
Well, at least not until today.
Add a Comment
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
2 years, 8 months.
There’s no question that you love your GoGo Squeez applesauce pouches. (As do I.)
It’s just that you’ve begun to associate finishing your applesauce with finishing dinner, and therefore, having to get ready for bed.
So you take your time eating dinner, essentially trying to make it never ending.
But a few nights ago, you were really putting up a fight… Mommy and I never let you finish dinner without eating some kind of fruit.
So half jokingly, Mommy asked you if we needed to call Papa (my dad) to tell you to finish your applesauce.
You hesitantly agreed.
I quickly briefed Papa on what was going on before putting him on speakerphone and handing the phone to you.
“Jack, you need to eat your applesauce. It’s good for you,” Papa advised.
You didn’t say a word. You just listened, nearly in disbelief that I actually called Papa about this.
He did his best, but ultimately, after the phone call, you still stood your ground.
We gave you a choice: Either eat your applesauce and have some playtime afterwards, or go straight upstairs to get ready for bed.
You chose to go straight upstairs. (Granted, Mommy still forced you to eat a spoon of applesauce before taking you upstairs.)
So sort of like the time you put yourself in time-out so you wouldn’t have to get dressed, you chose not eating applesauce over getting extra playtime.
Just in case you missed it, here’s the irony:
You didn’t want to eat your applesauce because it signified going upstairs to get ready for bed, meaning your fun time would come to an end.
So you refused your applesauce, meaning you went straight upstairs, forgoing the option of playing with your toys in the living room for a few minutes before going upstairs.
Even Papa tried to help. But sometimes you’re just so set in your ways.
P.S. I have to brag on GoGo Squeez. Their products are free of high fructose corn syrup or any added colors or flavors. I’m not waiting or hoping for the government to mandate food labeling. Instead, I’m taking control of the situation myself by purposely buying food from brands I can trust. Brands that aren’t dependent on Monsanto for their livelihood or that are shady about their ingredients. Any food brand that can claim to be kosher certified, as well as vegan friendly, has my attention:
(Plus, all GoGo Squeez products are produced free of common allergens, including milk, egg, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish.)
Add a Comment
Sunday, July 7th, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
I can barely remember it, but for the first five months of our marriage, Mommy and I didn’t have any dietary restrictions.
Whenever we took a road trip, we didn’t have to consider where or what we could eat; just where and what we didn’t want to eat.
Then we went kosher in November 2008, and vegetarian in December 2011, then I went vegan in March 2013; as you and Mommy are pretty much there with me too by now.
With that being said, gone are the days of not having to carefully plan out in advance every single meal and snack over the course of a road trip.
As you know, this past weekend for our 5 year wedding anniversary, Mommy and I decided to take you along for a mini-road trip; a 2 and a half hour drive to Louisville, Kentucky.
Using hotel points we had earned last year, we made it an overnight trip and visited the magnificent Louisville Zoo.
Just as we had to plan out in advance which hotel we’d be staying in, making sure we could not only redeem our points there but also that it was closest to the zoo, we additionally had to find out its proximity to the nearest Whole Foods Market.
Basically, we packed half the food we would need, including plenty of water and snacks; then bought the other half of the food at Whole Foods the next morning.
We dined on veggie wraps, fruit snacks, and bottled water in the parking lot. It was like a picnic in our car; fortunately, it was the perfect weather for it… not too hot or wet.
Plus, I knew from previous visits to Loiusville that the city is laced with 14 different Heine Brothers’ Coffee shops. Not only is their coffee perfect, which Mommy and I could definitely appreciate as a fun way to start the day, but they also have plenty of vegan options for snacks.
So was it difficult to make our road trip a health-conscious one? No, because we carefully planned for it.
But was the actual driving part of the road trip difficult because it threw off your sleep schedule? Absolutely!
(That’s a whole different story and I plan to tell it in the near future.)
Our mini-road trip served as necessary practice for the big one up ahead in a few weeks, when we will be taking our annual family vacation in Sacramento to see Mommy’s family.
It’s one thing to avoid eating at restaurants for 23 hours, but another thing when we’re staying at someone else’s house for over a week and trying not to become a burden because of our alternative lifestyle.
Add a Comment
Friday, July 5th, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
Today is a very special day… for more than one reason.
It was five years ago that Mommy and I got married!
We had talked a couple of weeks ago about what we would get each other as 5th year anniversary gifts. Well, we couldn’t have planned this, even if we tried, but…
As of today, our family is officially debt-free!
I can’t think of any greater gift Mommy and I could give each other on this special day.
Of course, we still have a mortgage. But as far as school loans, car payments, and our credit card, which mainly consisted of our wedding expenses and pre-existing debts from single life, those are all paid off now.
No other debts. Done.
Just to make sure this good news holds its worth weight, the amount of debt we paid off was a little over $58,000. And just to be clear, our household income level is completely average for Nashville.
No, Mommy and I didn’t win the lottery, gain a huge inheritance from a rich uncle, or suddenly get a multi-million dollar book deal.
We just took Dave Ramsey very seriously. Maybe a little too seriously.
I now equate credit cards with the devil, or at least Monsanto; but really, I think they’re all the same thing anyway.
Every penny we earn is accounted for. We tell our money where to go so that it doesn’t tell us where to go. We snowballed our way into debt and we snowballed our way out.
Another thing that financial guru Dave Ramsey taught us was that if we live like no one else now, we’ll live like no one else in the future.
He jokingly talks about living off beans and rice until you’re debt-free.
Considering that through this process, you and Mommy became vegetarians, and I became a vegan, you could say we took Dave Ramsey’s “beans and rice” advice pretty literally, even though our “plant-based, non-GMO” lifestyle change was motivated more by other reasons.
Either way, our family never, and I do mean never, eats food from a restaurant anymore. That saves us a lot of money every month.
Speaking of, on January 1st, I wrote “5 Impractical Ways To Save Your Family Money in 2013,” in which I proclaimed that this would be the year we would become debt-free.
Here are the 5 ways I mentioned:
1. We don’t pay for cable or satellite TV.
2. We don’t pay for Internet on our phones.
3. We hardly ever go out to eat. (That, of course, has since changed from “hardly ever” to “never.”)
4. We don’t update our electronics or possessions that cost over $100.
5. We live by a strict weekly budget, on an Excel spreadsheet.
Then, a week after I wrote that, I revealed that we also tithe 10% of our income. As Dave Ramsey puts it, “If you cannot live off 90% of your income, then you cannot live off 100%.”
Oh, and I cut your hair now. That saves us about 12 bucks a month.
I’ve never been so happy in my life to be at ground zero. Our family will continue the rest of our lives with our extremely frugal (!) lifestyle no matter what our income is.
Now that we’re out of debt, we will begin to snowball our savings and eventually our investments.
Granted, one of the greatest benefits of strategically working our way out of nearly $60,000 of debt is that Mommy and I will carefully teach you everything we’ve had to learn the hard way about money management.
Apparently, that knowledge alone is worth at least $60,000. It was for us, at least.
Photos by Joe Hendricks Photography.
Add a Comment
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
As I picked out my own dad’s Father’s Day card today, I noticed how they are designed for all the major types of dads. For example, there’s…
The Serious/Sentimental Dad- His card features a sophisticated black and white photo of dad and child.
As well as…
The Funny Dad- Expect a witty cartoon, a humorous photo, or some kind of lighthearted joke on his card.
The Fart Joke Dad- Like The Funny Dad, but specifically capitalizing on flatulence.
But don’ forget about…
The $1.99 Dad- This card tends to feature more generic language, steering away from words of affection like “dad” and “love.”
And of course…
The $.99 Dad- Here’s to one step away from not sending a card at all.
Yes, no kidding: At Kroger, they have both a $1.99 section as well as the $.99 section in the Father’s Day area.
It’s an interesting thought- that kids and adult children have to subconsciously figure out whether they have a serious/sentimental dad, or a fart joke dad, or a $1.99 dad.
I wonder if it changes throughout the years based on the child’s age.
For example, I could totally see you getting me a fart joke Father’s Day card when you’re 10 years old.
It sort of reminds me of an article I read on Yahoo! Finance called “What You ‘Like’ On Facebook Can Be Revealing.”
For example, in theory, because of the fact I “like” Non-GMO Project, Occupy Monsanto, Julie Borowski, Ron Paul, Parents Magazine, and Bruce Springsteen on Facebook, I am evidently making it somewhat obvious that I’m a a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, vegan dad who has accidentally caused his 2 and a half year-old son to now get upset in his car seat if he doesn’t get to listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits album on the way to school in the morning.
To me, a Father’s Day card is just as indirectly telling of what kind of dad one is perceived to be, at least in that moment, that year by their child.
I will never look at Father’s Day cards the same…
Top photo: Night Drive Long Exposure, via Shutterstock.
Bottom photo: Knocked Out, via Shutterstock.
Add a Comment