Sunday, January 31, 2010

February Challenge

Tomorrow is February, so I'd better get my challenge down in black and white. There are three things I'm concentrating on.

1) Making food - I will have at least a jar of sprouts going all month and I will attempt to make kimchi at least once this month.

2) Eating food - I will eat raw up to dinner time two days a week. Wednesday will always be one such day. The other day will float depending on what's going on. I will be concentrating on vegetables and fruit while eating raw.

3) Strength work - I will do the Crossfit Kids work out of the day or Rip's workout (you have to join, for free, the Engine 2 site to see the workout - it's also in his book, the Engine 2 Diet) 16 times over the course of the month. Why Crossfit Kids rather than adults? For whatever reason, I find it more accessible. I do the "big dog" workout, for what it's worth.

That's it. It's a short post tonight because it's almost time for our evening routine. It's been a full, without being overly busy, weekend, full of family time and seeing my parents again now that they're back from Mexico after their month there. I hope it was a good one for all of you, too!

Friday, January 29, 2010

January Challenge Update 4

Even though the month isn't quite over yet, this will be my last January Challenge update. Why? Well, the hard part is over. Tomorrow night is dessert night. Weekends are a break from the meal plan. I've done my pull ups.

Yup, pull ups are knocked out. All 500 of them. I'd expected to end higher than 500 and I probably still will, but not as much over as I'd thought I would a week or so ago. As I've gotten close to my goal, I've slacked off a bit. That's okay. A little recovery time is good.

Food has gone fine. I did stick to the eating plan the whole month (minus twice that I ate fruit before dinner rather than after on late dinner nights, which is a small infraction at worst). I am finishing the month weighing less than I started. Frankly, though, not as much less as I'd expected.

Warning! If you don't want to hear about what goes on in the bathroom, do not read the next paragraph!

As the month has gone on, I've had much smaller bms than I'm used to having. I feel like things aren't quite right in that department. I wouldn't say I'm constipated, but I am working harder on the toilet with much less to show for it. This strikes me as odd because I'm eating a lot of fiber, but the fact remains. I feel like I'm not cleaning out as much as I should be. I think this is related to the holding on of weight. I'm not totally sure what to do about it. I have just started incorporating some occasional running back into my routine, as, when I ran regularly, it seemed like I couldn't go a mile without needing a pit stop. So far, I'm not having the same results, but it does seem to help some.

Okay! Done with that subject.

So, how successful was the challenge? What have I learned? What last thoughts do I have about it all?

It was pretty successful in that I was able to do it. And sort of successful in that I have finished the month a pound or so lighter (although I expect that to happen in January anyway, after the festivities of the holidays). I feel stronger on my pull ups than I did at the beginning, so I've probably successfully added some muscle.

I've learned, though, that with having a pull up goal, I didn't do so much other muscle building and that is an issue. I'm giving thought to that in regards to the next month's challenge. I'd been thinking about adding another muscle exercise, but I'm thinking more along the lines of doing a whole body muscle work out three times a week...but I haven't decided for sure.

I've learned that eating according to a meal plan does help me not to overdo at lunch time and to not eat so much dessert all week, but I've also learned that it doesn't necessarily help my weight maintenance and I can't really think of another reason to do it. I'll probably still have oatmeal for breakfast often, but I might have smoothies sometimes, packed with lots of greens. Lunches will be back to eating leftovers or, sometimes, whipping something up for Davan and I. I'm happy with that. If there is any leftover dessert from Saturday (which will remain my one dessert night a week with exceptions for company and holidays), I'm going to have a portion a day after lunch. This will, I think, help me not to overdo it on Saturday because I'm thinking about going all week without. If there isn't leftover dessert, I'll have fruit if I like. Fruit or raw veggies will continue to be my snack of choice between meals.

I'm quite glad to be doing challenges month by month because I'm looking forward to continuing on with some aspects that I started this month, while having something new to look forward to and having the chance to revamp some things that aren't working for me. Sure, I could do this without all the formality, but would I? Probably some, but not in the same way.

I haven't totally outlined my February Challenge yet, but I'm pretty sure it will involve these things: sprouting, making kimchi, strength work, and a maybe a day or two of "raw until dinner" a week with the focus being on fruits and veggies, not nuts. I'll solidify it over the next couple of days and be sure to let you know what I've decided to go with.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today's Hike

This morning, Davan and I decided not to get in the car and go for a hike. But, we still went for a hike! Instead of getting in the car, though, we hopped on our bikes and rode to the trail head.

We went on the Springwater Corridor, which is a local Rails to Trails trail that we use often for bike riding. Our usual ride on it, from our house to the end of the paved part and back again is 10 miles round trip. There is more to it if we were to head west, but we are east enders for the most part.

After the paved part ends, the trail continues as a dirt/gravel/mud type trail for about 2.5 miles into the town of Boring. We walked to Boring, while not getting bored, I might add, where we stopped at a gas station to use the facilities before finding a place to sit and eat our packed breakfast:
Tea and pear steel cut oats all around.

Then we walked back:

Got back on the bikes and rode home. It was a lovely morning. It was even Davan's idea to ride over, which was great because sometimes she's a little reluctant to do the outdoor thing when the weather is iffy.

Davan Cooks

Davan cooks dinner at our house pretty much every Wednesday. While I do have to admit that it's with varying amounts of enthusiasm, she usually does a good job of it. Sometimes she gets really into cooking and spends a good deal of time with cookbooks. Just recently, she borrowed some cookbooks from library, some of which she's had before, but one new one. The new one, I have to admit, did not look very promising from it's cover and title, which is Munchie Madness; Vegetarian Meals for Teens. But, it turns out to be pretty good. It's completely vegan and tends toward whole grains. With a few modifications, many of the recipes work for how we eat.

Last night Davan made potato knishes from Munchie Madness, sauteed broccoli from her own ingenuity and toast just 'cause she's a starchy kind of kid. Here's my plate, partially eaten:

I've got mustard on my knish. I topped my toast with bits of knish or stray onions from the broccoli.

And Davan, enjoying her meal:
Thanks for the yummy eats, Davan.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Davan's Lunch Tray Today

I've been doing up a lunch tray for Davan most weekdays for the last couple of weeks. She loves them and I enjoy putting them together. I also like that she's eating such a variety of things. I can even put an occasional thing or two in that she doesn't like because, as she tells me, "If I don't like it, well, there isn't too much of it."

I actually made her a breakfast tray in addition to the lunch tray this morning, but I didn't snap a picture of it. It was her first breakfast tray during our newest blush with trays. It was full of fruit and other goodies...1/2 an orange, a kiwi, a spoonful of raw orange/cranberry relish, a bit of pear steel cut oats with some almond butter melted into it, two orange essence prunes, four dried cherries, some left over home fries, a vitamin stick, some frozen blueberries, two sections of leftover pancake almond butter and fruit spread sandwiches (both small) and a bit of apple compote. I had my usual steel cut oats. This morning's batch had a mashed banana and blueberries in it.

And here's Davan's lunch:
Starting with the carrots and going along the top, there are carrot sticks, 1/2 an apple, some of my TexMex, cabbage, orange essence prunes, frozen peas, frozen corn, lightly steamed green beans, left over sticky short grain brown rice from sushi (we just cook it with extra water to make it sticky), leftover BBQ lentil and brown rice loaf, left over veggie "fried" rice and some dry oats. She actually likes them uncooked.

I'll be having my usual green drink and TexMex. :)

Book Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Of course the buzz about The Omnivore's Dilemma is old news by now. It's been out for quite a while, but I never picked it up before now. Why now? Partially it was because In Defense of Food had caught my eye and I read it, finding it interesting. Partially is was because I'd heard about it again here and there. Whatever the reason, I got it from the library and have listened to it over the last week or so, sharing liberally with Anthony and Davan along the way.

The Omnivore's Dilemma follows the trail of food for four different meals. What are the origins? What processing does the food go through on it's way to being your meal? The four meals are from four unique food chains.

The first meal is an industrial meal, which could be a frozen dinner, packaged meal or, really, most anything you buy from the grocery store you prepare at home or pretty much any (but certainly not all) restaurant meal. Pollan chooses McDonald's for this meal and follows it all the way back to a field of corn, which is where the bulk of the calories in the meal originate, even though much of it is processed through a cow. We hear about the farming practices, the cattle raising practices and much else along the way.

The next two meals are both organic. One, though, is local organic using sustainable practices, which, it's explained, is what organic was meant to be when the movement originated. The other, though, is industrial organic. This organic food can and often is shipped a great distance and bears much resemblance to industrial food, while still being an improvement (in my opinion).

The last meal is one Pollan grows, gathers and hunts himself. We journey along as he learns to identify and gather mushrooms and hunt, neither activity having been known to him before.

Each meal is unique and, while Pollan has definite opinions, it's really left up to the reader to decide where he thinks it's best for food to come from. My opinions differed from Pollan's, particularly when he, I felt, basically said, "Yeah, okay, industrial meat processing is awful, but the very fact that places like (a sustainable, local, organic meat farm) exist means that it's okay." What?

I've been thinking lately about learning about some food gathering and this book is another prompt toward looking into that for me. Also, it's made me think again about organic. We've gone back and forth about organic over the course of many years, having most recently decided that eating as much produce as we want is worth the risks of not eating organic. However, I'm rethinking and will, perhaps, try to make organic work with our budget again.

Overall, I thought that The Omnivore's Dilemma was an interesting, educational and thought provoking book, while disagreeing with some of the opinions expressed. I give it a 9.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Party Crashers

You know how I mentioned that we were going to see Texting the Sun last night and it was free? Well, our source was a bit off about that...we went and there was a guest list. I started to indicate that we might have made a mistake when the receptionist said, "Oh, you didn't RSVP? Here, there are some standby seats available."


As we waited in the lobby then went in to find seats, it became more and more apparent that we were in the midst of people who all knew each other. Hmm...

Then the welcomes to everyone was a showing for Kaiser Permanente and The Oregon Children's Theater, who partnered together to create the show, which is about how media is effecting the lives of adolescents, and will be touring, for free, local schools over the next several months.

How did we end up thinking it was free and open to the public? Well, there was that link I shared with you where it was listed...

We just sat quietly and watched - it was well done and we enjoyed it - then we left without participating in the little soiree after.

Yup, just a family of party crashers we are.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend Stuff (Long Again)

We've been having a very nice productive and fun weekend. Anthony, who was supposed to have Friday off, but had to work, still managed to get out a bit early and met us at home after Davan and I went to see a staged reading of Oregon Childrens' Theater's upcoming Small Steps production. It was free and really fun! I recommend going to see it when it comes out in April if you're from around these parts. We did some puzzle building and general hanging out for the rest of Friday.

We were up and going on Saturday at 7:00 (at least Anthony and I), in keeping with our new bedtime routine, which I'm loving. I hopped on my bike and rode over to Winco to pick up a short list of things before breakfast. When I got home, Anthony was just getting off the indoor trainer and went to take a shower while I did a short walk around our nearby park.

Then it was breakfast time. I love our weekend breakfast routines. We have pancakes on both Saturday and Sunday, but different ones. What we top them with depends on the season. This weekend was two different types of cranberry relish, one cooked and one raw. The cooked one was left over from last weekend and got finished off yesterday, as Anthony liked it better. Today I added some apple compote to the offerings, but I mostly stuck with the cranberry relish. Raw almond butter is also an option. We always have fresh fruit, as well. It was grapefruit both days plus apples yesterday, as well.

What I love about this weekend breakfast routine is multifold. We all look forward to it because it's tasty. Davan, in particular, loves the predictability of it. I love that eating breakfast out is never an issue. We still have an eating out issue, in that we all seem to think it's a treat, even though we're often just as happy or happier with what we have at home. This is never an issue for breakfast, though, because we know what we're having and we're all happy with it. The Sunday morning pancakes have been going strong for years now (although it used to be on either weekend morning), but adding the routine of Saturday morning pancakes is just a few months old.

Because of the popularity of the breakfasts, we decided to make Saturday and Sunday dinners routine, as well. We picked two meals that we enjoy and that are either easy to do or fun to do together. We're open to switching them up, if necessary, but for now, we're doing sushi on Saturday nights, which consists of veggie, brown rice sushi, two individually tailored rolls each, and seasoned edamame. This constitutes a light meal at our house, which is perfect for Saturday nights because that's our dessert night. Last night we had a raw chocolate fruit pie, which was awesome.

I was in charge of the crust of cashews, rolled oats and dates all food processed and then shaped. Davan was in charge of the fruit, for which she chose clementines and kiwi:

Anthony was in charge of the chocolate sauce made from homemade almond butter, raw cacao powder, dates and some water, which was poured over the top of the fruit:

Davan really liked the chocolate sauce:

After letting setting it in the freezer briefly to let the chocolate sauce set up a bit, we dug in and, boy, was it tasty.

I didn't get any pictures of the slices, but they were not pretty anyway, so it's really no big loss.

In addition to the food yummy-nes of yesterday, we also got in a little yard work, which, believe me, the yard needs in a big bad way, and went to see Jess of Get Sconed! talk at the Central Library. We drove, but parked on the east side of the Willamette and walked over the Hawthorn Bridge and through downtown, which was a lovely walk.

Today we were up and out again, this time Anthony and I did a short ride on the Spring Water Corridor, our standby ride. We got lucky and beat the rain that started about 20 minutes after we got home and is still going strong.

We've started a campaign to scavenge discarded bricks from a factory that is right along the Spring Water Corridor, much to Anthony's distress. He went along and helped, but he was acting like we were robbing a bank the whole time. This bricks are the discards and there are huge piles of them all mossed over at one point. Believe me, as long as we're not making a mess, no one cares about these bricks. We're going to use them to line our bark chip play area in the back yard. This is an old picture from when the bark chips were still looking good (it's a mess back there now with new bark chips needed and a good chunk of weed blocker having been used by birds for nesting), but it gives you the idea:

Yeah. That's a few years ago. The house is a dark blue now. I'd get you a more updated one so you could see how much work needs to be done, but it's raining and I'm not feeling like going out there.

Back at the homestead, we found Davan up and working with the Lego Mindstorms kit, which, other than a brief use after we got it a couple of years ago, has mostly gone unused. I'm glad she's interested again.

We left her to it while we got going with pancakes. Davan, frustrated momentarily by the Legos, showed up in the kitchen for a while and was put to work, which quickly led her to feel like the Legos weren't so bad after all and she wandered away again.

She came back for pancakes, though, after which I spent some time cleaning in the kitchen while Anthony went to help with the Mindstorm building:

With the rain, we're probably mostly going to be hanging out for the day, doing whatever might present itself, at least until dinner, which will be portabello mushroom sandwiches for Davan and I (Bocca burger for Anthony), and then we're off to see Texting the Sun. It's free! :)

I hope you are all having nice weekends, too!

Friday, January 22, 2010

January Challenge Update 3

We're, surprisingly to me, at the end of the third week of January. This month has gone by quickly at our house. So, how is the challenge going? Well. Still.

I'm up to 420 pull ups and anticipate finishing the month with well over 500 done.

Food remains the same. Steel cut oats, fruit, cinnamon and flax meal is a satisfying breakfast and I'm good with having it every morning. Lunch continues to be fine, while I'm a bit tired of the TexMex. I'd usually really like a piece of fruit after lunch. If I weren't on the challenge, I'd actually probably have a left over pancake or two after lunch. I'm thinking I'll stick with not doing that after January, but allow the fruit. Dessert, or lack there of, for the most part, is pretty easy to do. One issue I have realized is that I overdo it on Saturday dessert night because I know that's all there is. We've been talking about making less or putting a portion of it away before starting in on eating. In the latter case, I may start allowing one "piece" of dessert in the evenings as long as it lasts once the January challenge is over, but stick with not making a new dessert except on Saturday nights.

I'm feeling pretty sure that February's challenge, with having company that month and all, is going to involve sprouting all month, keeping up the pull ups and adding, perhaps, a certain number of crunches and squats to the goal list.

How are your resolutions going, if you made any?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today's Hike

Davan and I were out the door and on our way part way up Mt Hood by 8:15 for this week's Thursday morning hike. We hiked at Salmon Creek today, which is an old favorite of ours. We took our very first backpacking trip as a family there when Davan was two.

It's very pretty and, today, we didn't see a single other person for our 5 or so miles until the very end, when a lady and her two dogs passed us. This is a very popular area, so we were surprised not to meet more people. Glad, though, too.

At one point on the trail, there is a side creek with some logs over it. We paused in our hike there to climb around on the logs for a bit:

All along the trail, there are little waterfalls and streams to cross:

It was a nippy 45 or so degrees this morning, so I'm all bundled up:

Bridges are always one of Davan's favorite parts of hikes:

Davan's back is feeling much better and she showed it by twirling and leaping down part of the trail (sorry about the fuzz factor - but you can see how fast she was moving):

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Day in the Life at N's - Tuesday the 12th

Davan and I had fun with the last day in the life, so we decided to do one periodically (but not too often because it's very time consuming!). This is, again, long and picture filled, even more so than the last one. You've been warned.

I got up at 7:00 and got ready for a bike ride. It wasn't quite light yet:

I didn't take the camera with me, but my ride made me with I had a smaller camera that would have fit well into my jersey pocket because it was really pretty. I rode up to Crown Point, which has a great view of the Gorge. It was extra pretty because of the early morning light. Riding during the sunrise was great. I did 20 miles, finishing when it was light, at 9:20, even though I was supposed to be home for chores at 9:00 - opps:

I came in the house to find Davan doing this:
She, somehow, injured her back. It was sore for nearly a week, but not so much so that she was in real pain, but then she was jumping rope Sunday evening and that seemed to tip things over. It's been quite painful. So, for her workout, she stretched some, then lay down on the heating pad with her legs up on the couch and a book.

Still, mean mom that I am, I made her participate in chores.

I did tell her to take her time and pick the ones she thought would be easiest. Plus, we shortened chore time because of my late return. Anyway, as you can see, she wasn't too upset about it:
Chores culminate in breakfast at our house, which took place about 10:00. I had steel cut oats with a mashed banana and blueberries plus tea:
while I did a wee bit of hanging on the computer.

Davan had a pancake almond butter and fruit spread sandwich with a clementine and an apple plus tea, as well:
The cloudy shot glass is an indication of how sore her back is. Davan won't usually take any pain meds because she can't swallow pills and hates the taste of chewables. However, this time, she was willing. What we did instead of chewables was cut open a liquid capsule and mix it with a little water, which she drinks as fast as possible, always following up with water (or tea) and something better tasting. You'll be happy to know that she only took a total of four doses over two days and, today, is feeling better enough that she's not doing ibuprofen any longer.

Because of her back, Davan didn't multitask as much as usual and just listened to a book on tape while eating.

After breakfast, Davan headed to the shower:
While I headed back to the kitchen:
Due to the afternoon schedule, I needed to pack dinner. In this go, I worked on salad:

I also started a lunch tray for Davan while I was chopping. The first tupperware type container is Davan's dinner salad of a mix of romain and red leaf lettuce, sliced cucumbers, 1/2 an apple and some carrot sticks. She doesn't like her salads mixed up. My container has the same salad mix, but more of it, red onions and a half a chopped apple. The glass jar on the side is my dressing - a homemade mustard/balsamic vinegar deal. On the plate is Anthony's because he would be eating his at home, and is lettuce, red onion and carrot. Then there is a produce bag with the leftover lettuce, which I'll use for my salad for lunch today. I also put a half a cucumber in the blender for my lunch green drink. And the compost container is full, over in the corner.

Davan, done with her shower and having self braided her hair, opted to do some drawing. She, first, collected her displayed drawings because she wanted to work with the same character:

Then she got up on her bed to draw, with Cinnamon for company:

How she can draw sitting on her bed with a sore back is beyond me, but I did notice she was sitting up much straighter than she usually does.

I went off to take my shower:
Give Licorice a pet:
Notice Pearl up on top of the cat structure that Anthony built:
And get back into the kitchen to keep working on dinner:
To go with our salads (all packed up in the background), I was making sweet potato hash with mostly prebaked sweet potatoes that I'd put in the toaster oven during morning chores, a large onion, garlic, a bag of frozen corn, Bragg's and some pepper. When I'm making it for just Davan and I and have one around, I put in a bell pepper, too.

While I was periodically stirring the hash, I checked on Davan, who was still happily drawing and listening to her book on tape, of course:
And also worked on lunch. This was Davan's:
We used to do lunch like this often, but had gotten out of the habit, until I was reminded of the joys of sectional eating for kids, especially, by Green and Crunchy. Davan loves eating this way. The muffin containers, from top to bottom, left to right, contain: carrot sticks, sliced cucumber, lettuce, frozen corn, a clementine, grape tomatoes, leftover short grain brown rice from sushi night, Mrs. Dash seasoned pinto and red beans, sliced baby bella mushrooms, unsweetened dried cherries, orange essence prunes and leftover apples and steel cut oats mixed with a spoon of raw almond butter.

Davan was delighted to see her tray show up and continued to draw as she nibbled:
She showed me a new character while I was there:

My lunch started with a green drink:
Yesterday's drink was made up of a half a cucumber (which I didn't love with the rest of the drink and would eat on the side in the future with this combo), plenty of spinach, a banana and 1/2 cup blueberries plus a little water. After blending, it looked like this:
Meanwhile, the hash was done:
and this was our dinner. There was more hash in the fridge earmarked for Anthony's dinner and, in another container, his lunch for today.

While I drank my green drink, I was also gathering things, getting ready to go out. I use a crate when I'm taking a lot:

In this crate is dinner, including waters for each of us, the book I'm currently reading, my journal that I keep with my best friend, my mp3 player, three DVDs to return to the library, another book in case I finished the one I'm reading, a book for each of the two book groups we're going to, my hat, gloves and raincoat (I was wearing a jacket, but there was the possibility of rain).

I got the rest of my lunch dished up and warmed up:
but didn't get to eat it until we were on the road. This week's TexMex is hulled barley, pinto and red beans, kale, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, pinch of cayenne pepper and nutritional yeast. I'm not liking the barley as much as the wheat kernels, but it's okay.

We got on coats and shoes:

hopped in the car:
and headed to the library for homeschool book group:
where there were people other than Davan and I, but I didn't want to include other people's kids without approval.

We participate in two different book groups on the third Tuesday of every month. One group is for 7-11 (or so) year olds and the other is for 12-18 (or so) year olds. We discussed Mogo, the Third Warthog in the younger group and The Naming in the older group.

Then, it was back in the car, heading to the Sunnyside location of Do Jump for the preschool class Davan helps with. We were in a rush, so she changed in the car:

Also because of the rush, I didn't get a picture of her going in. But here I am, about to go for a walk while Davan is teaching:
Along my walk, I went past this intersection, which is always fun:
stopped by the Sunnyside park to do my pull ups for the day:
and strolled through Laurelhurst Park:

The time came to collect Davan. Here she is, coming out amidst all the little folk:
We moved the van over to near the Echo Theater location of Do Jump and, because it was a relatively temperate evening (otherwise we buy a small supplement to the meal and eat at Fred Meyer's), we sat together in the van to eat:

Davan thought she looked sad, so we took another picture. I decided to keep the original just so you'd know that she doesn't always (very often, though) go around smiling:

After dinner, during which we talked about the preschoolers and the book I'm reading, Davan entered the Echo Theater for Zig Zags:

She told her instructors that she had a sore back and might not be able to do everything, but it turned out that, shortly into their stretching, there was a black out that lasted until class was over, so they mostly just talked about their show, which was something they needed to do, too. That worked out well for Davan!

Meanwhile, I walked the 1/2 mile or so to the library, where I got online for a bit. It's where I posted my blog entry from last night:
I also got in a little reading before going back to the Echo Theater to discover the blackout. Davan always spends the couple block walk to the van and part of the ride home talking animatedly about how Zig Zags went:
The rest of the car ride, we listen to our audio book.

Back at the homestead, Anthony had dinner with his dad. I'd forgotten it was his Dad's night to come over for dinner when I'd prepared food earlier. However, with the extra prepared lettuce, I figured they'd be okay with that and the hash. It turned out, though, that Anthony had opted to go with TexMex instead. I guess he felt there was more of that available. Or that it was better guest food than hash? I dunno. No big deal, though, really. Other than I'll have to make another batch sooner rather than later.

My FIL had left our Christmas gifts:

which Anthony and Davan opened immediately. The visa gift cards will be used.

This is what the crate looked like upon coming home (that's Pearl there, very interested):

It's different books (we're doing picture books for next month's younger book group) and empty food containers, mostly.

After changing into her footie pjs, Davan became interested in some mail that Anthony was looking over and the two of them had quite a discussion about politics (two party systems, unions, health care) while pursing the, what I'd have thought of as, junk mail:

I was feeling pretty hungry, so I whipped up some blueberry/banana soft serve (just frozen blueberries and bananas with a little water in the Vitamix - fruit only, so it's in keeping with my January challenge):

Davan was very happy to take her first spoonful:

By the time we were done, 8:30 was upon us and we all went off to brush our teeth:
Snuggle on the couch while Anthony read out of the family book (Oscar, too!):

and then Davan and I read each our own books for about a half an hour. Our last activity of the day was to cuddle together with the lights out, listening to soft music and relaxing before crawling in bed and waiting for sleep.