Thursday, August 27, 2009

What a neat surprise!

It's another day where the workout doesn't look like it's going to happen. Z2, of course, has been up since 6:20. But . . . he surprised me this morning. I was here reading some blogs and he brought me a book he wanted me to read. It's a bit long and I didn't want to so I told him to go get The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. And to my surprise, his royal cuteness went and got the book. I didn't even realize that he knew it by name! Right now, he is angling to nurse for about the fifth time this morning. That is not a surprise.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's getting harder to workout

Recently, Z2 has been waking at 6:00. Sometimes he gets up at 6:15 or 6:20 but most days, by 6:30 he is awake and active. The hubby used to just kind of rock him and keep him quiet till 7 so I could finish working out. However, Z2 is now extremely loud in the mornings and gets out of bed to bang on the door to be let out, threatening to wake up his big brother.* He then wants to nurse as soon as he sees me. And then he's really up. I'm trying to not be deterred and just get the workout in while he buzzes around. But it is distracting, to say the least, trying to keep an eye on him while jumping around exercising. I think for my birthday I may just get a membership to a gym. There's this "manly man's" gym close to me. A lot of weightlifter's train there but there's a good selection of workout equipment nonetheless. I can actually walk there in 10 minutes in the months when there's light out by 6:00AM or drive there in 2 minutes when it's darker. I would be out of the house so I couldn't be disturbed. However, I don't feel positive about that plan because taking care of Z2 that early would cut into the hubby's sleep . And the hubby is not a morning person and actually needs that extra hour to function well (he wakes at 7:00). I'm trying to think of what my options are. I thought about just waiting till everyone is up at 7:00/7:30. I think I may try that today. The only thing is that really, by that time I need to be getting on with the day: doing Z1's lesson, getting breakfast ready, packing lunches, vacuuming, folding laundry, etc . . . basically, I feel that by 7:30, my work day has begun. I shift gears mentally and it's hard to get my mind into the game for exercising. I'm waking at 5:00/5:10. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to wash my face, brush my teeth, etc and then I take the rest of hour to journal, meditate, read/study, and chant. I really need these activities too--just as much as exercising.

I'm trying to put it all into perspective. When I was teaching, I had to be out of the house by 7:15 so the option of working out later, i.e. starting my work day later was not really on the table. At least as a stay-at-home mom whose hubby works an evening shift, it is.

I just wish kids would get with the program sometimes!! I miss my 6:00-7:00 workout hour!!

*We all sleep in the same bedroom currently although this Saturday, thank the Lord, that is about to change with the delivery of our new bed frame and mattress. We have not had a bed for years now. We have done without a bed due to a lot of reasons but most especially because of a crazy bed bug infestation which forced us to get rid of our whole bed set--mattress, box spring and frame and fumigate (you need to find someone who knows how to kill bed bugs because these like shits are seriously resilient). Bedbugs are vile and vicious and tough to get rid of! I don't know where they came from but I know that we got rid of them . . . and now, nobody and I mean nobody outside of my sons and husband and myself are allowed anywhere near my bed. But we've suffered a lot due to those bed bugs--sleeping on the couch, inflatable mattresses, the floor and then a futon (full-size--not even queen). And sleeping on a futon while pregnant has got to be a special kind of hell.

Well, since the bed bug thing, a lot has changed in the house. The front room became an office, the old bedroom became the living room and the two back rooms are bedrooms now. So in that way the bedbugs were a positive thing in that it made us change the way the house is set up so that it flows now. We're making much better use of space.

Anyhow, the hubby finished patching up what will be our bedroom ceiling and walls, put on a fresh new coat of paint, and we got some new carpet laid. The old carpet was old and stained from the homebirth (which was gross and for which I think the hubby still holds a grudge against the midwife and doula). And while the new carpet is not exactly plush (it's actually commercial carpet which may actually be better for my allergies), it's clean and neat looking and didn't off gas which was great. We bought a basic platform bed from Gothic Cabinets and a really good but pricey mattress. I preferred to wait till we could get a good mattress rather than getting a cheap one and having just as crappy sleep as we'd been getting on the futon we've been rocking with since well before Z2 was born. So while we're not getting a newly designed master-suite (no new furniture to speak of although I almost scored a great armoire on Freecycle), at least it will be our bedroom, sans kids. We're really looking forward. I'm hoping that it will change this new morning dynamic and that Z2, who seems to sleep better alone, will start to sleep until 7:00 again. Really hoping.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Say "Cheese" Cake!

The hubby has one special request for his birthday every year: vegan cheesecake. It's not one my favorite desserts especially since the ingredients call for quite a bit of tofu and a soy-based vegan cream cheese. He still likes it a lot though. I only got around to making it yesterday, over a month since his birthday. Better late than never though!
Here's the recipe reposted from VegWeb.com.

Better Than Tofu Cheesecake

Ingredients (use vegan versions):


Crust:

1 1/4c graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoon vegan sugar or other sweetener

1/4c margarine or oil

Filling:

2 lbs. soft silken tofu (well drained but not pressed)

8 oz. vegan cream cheese

1/4c pineapple juice frozen concentrate thawed

1/2c oil

1Tbs. lemon juice

1Tbs. vanilla extract

1/2c pure maple syurp

1Tbs. coriander

1Tbs. corn starch disolved in 2Tbs. water


Directions:


For crust: Melt margarine and blend well with graham cracker cumbs and sweetener. Press well into bottom of spring-form pan or round cake pan. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Let cool.


Filling: Mash tofu with vegan cream cheese. Add all other ingredients to tofu mixture and whip with hand mixer until well blended and very creamy. Try to get all tofu lumps out. Pour into crust and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes. Turn OFF oven and leave in for 15 minutes more to help set center. When done edges should be golden and starting to pull away from sides of pan, center should be soft set (it will wiggle if you shake pan lightly). Cool about an hour then refigerate another 3 hours to set center. Keep refrigerated.


Serves: approx 12


Preparation time: 1 1/2 hours

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I, of course, made some modifications and I can think of a few other ones I can make in the future.

Firstly, I used silken tofu. Next time I may actually go for a regular/firm tofu. I don't mix the tofu by hand. I actually process it in the food processor so it comes out very smooth. No need to use the silken tofu. Secondly, I omitted the coriander. I cannot even imagine what coriander is doing in this recipe. I was willing to try, though, Gave the coriander a whiff and chickened out. I left out the pineapple juice because I didn't have any and just upped the amount of fresh lemon juice I used. I also used only 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup (not 1/2 cup--maple syrup is just too expensive) and sweetened it with a cup of turbinado (maple syrup is sweeter than turbinado). I didn't put cornstarch in because I missed that part of the recipe. It was too runny though so I added about a 1/3 cup flour. I will make sure to use the cornstarch next time as a thickener. That would actually work very well.

I didn't use graham cracker crust recipe that comes with this one. I used the one that come on the box of the Mi-Del graham crackers I buy. This brand of graham crackers are straight nasty to eat out of the box. They are like teething biscuits but extra salty. They work well for graham cracker crust. But any graham cracker crust (including one you buy) will do.

For the top, I made a simple fruit topping:
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. arrowroot
3 tsps. lemon juice
1-1/2 cup blueberries

Put all ingredients in a pot and stir over low-medium heat until thickened and glossy.


The hubby really enjoyed it although he said it tasted more like a custard than a cheesecake. I think the cornstarch and firmer tofu will help a lot.
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