Friday, January 31, 2014

MSPI Friendly Birthday Cake

Baby Brother is about to turn one! Cue the tears. I just can't believe my baby is not quite a tiny baby anymore. I was looking through our photos to pick out a few to print for his party/baby book and man, I got all nostalgic. I mean he wasn't small for very long, but he's still my baby, you know?

Anyway, it's about time for some baking and luckily for my jeans I already practiced before Little Boy's party last summer, so here are my dairy-free, soy-free (and bonus points) egg-free cakes! They turned out perfectly this summer, so most likely I'll just be repeating. Although now that we have cut out white flour and vegetable oil from our diet I might have to rethink these.

MSPI Friendly Chocolate Cake

1 ½ cup flour
⅓ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp vinegar

Mix dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add wet ingredients except vinegar. At the last minute, incorporate the vinegar and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.

MSPI Friendly Lemon Cake

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup sugar
⅓ cup veg oil
3 Tbsp water + 3 Tbsp oil + 2 tsp baking powder (mixed together)
1 ¼ cup water
2 tsp vanilla
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel

Mix dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add wet ingredients in the order listed.
Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

11 Months!

Another amazing month has gone by in the blink of an eye. The theme of the month is most definitely cruising! From wall to wall, couch to table, tv stand to couch, toilet to shower door, cabinet to oven, you have been on the move! One of your favorite activities is standing and banging on walls or just  feeling walls with your hands if we are holding you. You especially love seeing reflection in unexpected spots: the oven door, the car window, etc. Your other daily activity is emptying: emptying bins, emptying cupboards, emptying bookshelves. It makes for lot of fun and lots of unending mess all over the house.

In the world of language your favorite sound from last month"a-ta"continues and has evolved into the ocasional "dadada". In particular, we enjoy your long morning monologues. We imagine you are telling us about your lovely dreams and wonderful sleep. Even more prominent than spoken language though has been your gesturing signs. The most delightful is when you wave bye bye! You also open and close your hands when you want us to give you something (like more food, or water), and you tug your tray hard so we know you are done. Dare we wait for a minute and you will start tossing the leftover food piece by piece on the floor until we get the message!

You are quite the alarm clock in terms of your schedule: up at 8, nap at 10:30, lunch at noon, nap at 3 and dinner shall be served at precisely 6 o'clock without fail. We are now squarely on three meals a day and though breakfast and lunch are not that big, dinner ends up being a feast of whatever we are eating.  You absolutely love bath time and splashing the water or trying to grab the stream as it comes into the tub. If given the opportunity you are keen to fill a cup with water and start drinking it. But the thing you love more than anything? Being held, and preferably by your mommy. You are our cuddly (not so) little baby and we love you more than anything!

Monday, January 27, 2014

MSPI- Friendly Brownies

MSPI Friendly Brownies

After much tinkering around with the recipe, we finally perfected chewy, chocolatey brownies!

1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup flour (we use whole wheat)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix in the order listed. Note that the eggs aren't too cold otherwise they will cause the coconut oil to harden and you won't be able to mix together.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. Brownies are ready when a toothpick comes out almost clean. Be careful not to over bake otherwise they will become hard.


*I taught the husband how to make brownies and these were waiting for me when I came home from our last trip. Yum!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Time to Leave?

I've been getting the hint that it's time to leave...

Our next door neighbors had time to separate, move out, sell the place, renovate it, and the new owners have moved in. Our across the street neighbor bought a house elsewhere and left. Our up the street neighbor has finished construction on a new house and they are moving next month...two of our original three guards have left. And that's just around our house.

My mommy group friends have had a mass exodus: one in August, one in October, two in November, two in December, one just left, one more is leaving in March, and the last one in April. Then it will be just me.

I just got notice that our rabbi is having a going away part next week.

Somehow leaving is a lot easier than being left. I don't like saying goodbye over and over, keeping a smile on my face, telling our friends that they'll be fine. I know they will. I'm ready to start packing, to have that burning desire to organize perfectly, finish up loose ends, sell, sell, sell. But where would I go? I don't know.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


This blog is not doing so well. No time. All hours of the day are tasked with something, and by the time I crash on the couch post-bedtime it is practically my bedtime. Things are good, happy and tiring, but definitely good. I have lots of started posts, or ideas, but little energy to follow through with writing them. In short: one more semester is over, one more to go! Lots of friends moving/moved....but we're starting to get ready for our move as well. Baby Brother celebrated his first Halloween, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving. Little Boy is talking up a storm. But in the spirit of a little retrospection, my top three highlights of the past year:

1- Baby Brother: the birth, the person, the joy. By far, how could anything compare? There are just no words to describe the joy he brings our family.

2- The Trip: we took a month long backpacking trip with the kiddos. It required more planning, more effort and more stuff than we've ever taken, but it was fabulous.

3- Wearing pre-Little Boy jeans. It's so vain for this to be a highlight, but with all the nutritional changes going on this year (due to both MSPI and newfound knowledge), it was a long time coming and it makes me happy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

10 Months!

This month a lightbulb turned on! You have a new alertness and understanding on the world. You charm people with your coyish smile and then act shy. You seek them out and then grin in delight when they notice, as if it was their idea to seek you out! But you also voice your discontent when moved away from something you "need" to explore, particularly toilet water.

We spent much of this month on the road, and so you didn't get to practice you skills as much as you would have liked. Nevertheless you can now crawl all the way up stairs to third floor, stand using anything, even a flat wall, for balance, lean down to splash the water while standing up in the bath, and pick up a cup to drink water!

In the food department we have mostly moved to three meals a day. Your favorite food by far is bread although we are finally starting to expand the options. And you now have 4 teeth and are the proud new owner of a baby toothbrush which delights you to no end!

We learned that you hate sand, you have quite sensitive skin, you love attacking your brother, can play exceedingly well by yourself with toys, enjoy being read short books, love being cuddled and caressed, do pretty well with self regulating your sleep, and laugh at us when we say "no". Oh boy, we are in trouble...but we can't wait for more to come!