Friday, September 25, 2009

Vegan Candy Bar Giveaway

My friend Mindy's blog that she started with a friend is having a candy bar giveaway.

Go to Veg Out With Us to enter.

I'm lessening my chances of winning by linking to the contest, but it's a great blog and they went through all the trouble of lining the contest up with the company that makes the candy bars... So I'm a nice guy, is what I'm saying.

Go enter. Good luck.

Friday Liam #18

I had a little photo shoot with Liam in the backyard on Monday. Here are a couple.

That's our raspberry bush in the background. It's producing for the second time this summer. The first run gave us about five edible raspberries. This run, I'm hoping for hundreds. In fact, it looks so promising that I'm going to cover the plant with a sheet if there is threat of frost. Nothing I've ever considered doing has made me feel more like my father than that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Honey, Honey.

I ran across an article today about why vegans don't eat honey.

It's one of those things that people are confused about, and I understand why. In fact, I know vegans who eat honey and I still consider them vegans. I'm not sure that eating honey disqualifies you from being considered vegan and I don't know if it's something to make a big deal about ... I don't know.

I ate honey until just a few years ago. I didn't make a point to buy it, but I didn't refrain from eating things that contained honey either. But if you ask me, I'll tell you I've been vegan for about seven years.

Maybe that's dishonest. I don't know. It's not like there's an application out there that you have to fill out to be a vegan. But at the same time, words matter and I think the word "vegan" should mean something specific, and not just whatever you want it to mean.

Food for thought, I guess.

Anyway, this site is what caused me to realize that honey wasn't vegan (yes, I realize that statement contradicts my previous statements ... like I said, it's confusing and I'm dishonest) and that I couldn't justify eating it anymore. It's an in depth look at honey "production" and the moral implications as it relates to veganism and animal rights. It was illuminating.

And once I read that page, it was easy to stop eating honey. Here's how I did it:

I stopped eating honey.

I know. Groundbreaking, right? The hardest part of any change is actually deciding to make that change. Once you summon the will to change and then commit to it, it's easy.

Going vegan is easy once you decide to go vegan. Give it a try if you haven't already. The animals, the Earth and your body will thank you. Well, none of them will literally express thanks to you. Animals don't speak the language of humans, and the Earth doesn't speak at all. I guess your body could thank you, but then you'd just be talking to yourself...

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I have a running mental list of things to blog about, but they rarely make it to the blog. So I’m going to start doing posts like this one, where I just put a bunch of small (or not-so-small) slices of our life into one post.


We were driving in the car with the whole family plus Anna’s aunt Jessica. Jessica had some bottled iced tea with and asked if Jen (Mrs. Piggy) wanted it. Jen looked at the ingredients and said that it had honey and no thanks. So Jessica said she’d have it. Here’s what came next:

Anna: Is that vegan?
Jessica: No.
Anna: But you’re drinking it?
Jessica: Yes.
Anna: Oh. You not be vegan?
Jessica: No.
Anna: Oh. That’s wrong.

I swear, I never told her to say that. These are the kind of interactions that will ostracize her once she starts school, so I actually told her that instead she could say something like, “oh, I’m vegan,” or something less judgmental and confrontational.

We are pretty non-confrontational parents. I mean, we’ll talk to someone about veganism if they bring it up, and we bring it up if the situation is apt. But we don’t make it a point to tell people they’re wrong for not being vegan.

So … that’s our girl. I have a feeling she’s going to be calling us out on stuff that we never even thought of when she gets older.


Anna was looking at the “Grandma Rocks” pillow we got when her great grandma passed away and she was looking at the rocking chair, noticing how it matches the real rocking chair that we also got from her great grandma when she died. She started to make up a story about the picture of the chair on the pillow.

“I think they got the rocking chair because it was from a boy who died and they took it.”

“Who got the rocking chair?” I asked.

“The people on the pillow. They got the chair because the boy died.”

I got a little weirded out that she said “boy” instead of “old man” or something. And I didn’t see the connection she was making between the picture of the rocking chair and the real rocking chair we got from her great grandma. So I said:

“I think it’s just a picture of a rocking chair. I don’t think there’s a story behind it.”

She flips the pillow over and looks at the other side. “No, there’s no story behind it.”

And then I laughed and she ran to her bedroom. I made a point to apologize for not understanding the connection she was making and commending her for her imagination. The girl is too smart for me sometimes.

I remember saying things that made complete sense in my head when I was a kid and not being able to explain it clearly enough to an adult to make them understand. I hated that feeling (hell, I still do). So … I make every effort possible to understand my daughter.


Our friend Erin (Tony’s wife) was coming over to drop off our half of the CSA share and Anna said, “I really like Erin and Tony. They’re nice guys.”

Then she paused for a second and corrected herself: “Tony’s a nice guy. Erin’s a nice person.”

She’s been accurately using pronouns for almost as long as she’s been talking, but she’s just now realizing what they mean and how they work. It’s fun to watch.

A few days ago, Anna was snuggling with her blankey bear after a nap and I asked her if blankey bear is a boy or a girl or just a blankey bear.

“He’s a boy,” she said.

She’s a boy?” I repeated, because it sort of sounded like she said that.

“No! He’s a boy!”

“Oh,” I said, “that would have been funny if you had said, ‘she’s a boy.’”

And then Anna laughed uncontrollably for a few minutes, repeating, “she’s a boy,” over and over. She got it and she thought it was hilarious.

About ten minutes later she walked back up to her bed and looked at blankey bear and said, through giggling anticipation, trying to hold it all together, “I’m going to say it again.” And then she did. Sort of. As much as she could have while convulsing with laughter.


I forgot to blog this a while back. I recorded this exchange immediately after it happened because I found it hilarious (I love the “memo” function on my cell phone).

A fly was buzzing around Anna’s bedroom.

Anna: Can you catch it daddy? And put it outside?

Me: I don’t think you can catch a fly, Anna. You either have to kill it or-

Anna (cutting me off mid-sentence): Kill it.

It was funny, but also a bit disturbing. I don’t have a problem killing house flies (or spiders, or fruit flies, centipedes, millipedes, crickets… you get the point) as long as they’re uninvited guests in my home. Usually with spiders though, we’ll catch it and let it go outside. At least when Anna’s watching. So, anyway, the fact that she was so all about killing the fly caught me off guard. It was hard not to laugh.


Anna in the back seat of the car one day: “We better hold on! Daddy’s driving!”


Last night on the way home from Royal Orchid (possibly the best Thai restaurant I’ve ever eaten at), Liam would look at Anna in the back seat and make a noise. Anna would repeat the noise and then they would both forcefully giggle for thirty seconds. Repeat for about ten minutes and that was most of our ride home. It was awesome.


Yesterday I gave Anna a science lesson. I used one of her stuffed dogs to illustrate that things fall. I held him up and asked her what was going to happen when I dropped the dog. She said, "I don't know." So I dropped it and it fell and I said, "It fell to the floor." Same thing again. And then the third time when I asked her what was going to happen she said, "It's going to fall to the floor!"

"Are you sure?" I asked.


"How can you be sure?"

"I don't know," she said in her way that tells me she actually does know, but doesn't know how, or doesn't feel like, expressing it.

So I told her that she's knows because that's what happened all the other times. Then I told her that things fall because of gravity. Five minutes later we were both lying on the floor pretending we couldn't get up because we were on Jupiter. Then we got up because we were on Earth. And then I lifted her up and had her jump high and far because we were on the moon, all the while explaining that there is more or less gravity depending on the size of things.

She might have absorbed ten percent of what I was telling her. And that's enough for me. It's worth it. It's fun.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Anna Wednesday #16

Anna likes to take her pajama top almost all the way off. Then she asks me to take a picture. Sometimes I do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Anna's Rug Words

Here's the second half of that video I posted last week. Anna stole the spotlight from Liam.

Warning, the first few seconds are extremely loud. Anna yelled some Klingon (which is what her made-up words sound like to me) into the webcam and (even though I turned the audio down quite a bit when editing the movie) it's still ear-splitting. Especially if you're wearing headphones.

"Rug words" has no meaning. She just said the first thing she saw. What kind of word is it? Well there's a rug, so it's a rug word. She does the same thing when I ask her what she dreamed about or what one of her dolls is named. I like that dolls are named pillow. It's fun.

Oh, and part of this video is missing. It's over to the left there on the sidebar. Check it out.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Liam #16

Mrs. Piggy really wanted me to post this one today. I always feel odd putting photos of myself on here. Seems sort of vain. But then again, the whole idea of a blog is sort of vain. So ... there I am folks, in glorious black and white. Love me!

Anna Wednesday #15

Anna with her faux Uncle Kerz and her faux niece (Kerz's new daughter) Edie. She loves real babies even more than her pretend babies.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another Jumper Video

They just keep getting better, folks. But this might be the last one of Liam in the jumper, since we just got him a walker. And the boy wants to constantly walk. So ... maybe a "Video of Liam in the Walker" tag will be warranted.

Anna kept talking for about 6 more minutes. I'll edit that and get it up soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Friday Liam #15

This photo was taken at UsFest, the annual gathering of our closest college friends and their spouses and/or families. More photos from this year's UsFest can be found at our friends' blog the trygkerz chronicles.

I'll try to get some more photos of the weekend up on this blog as well. I got a fever while there (and still did last night) and in addition to that my whole body is weak from excessive jet-skiing (typing even hurts ... seriously, why am I blogging right now?)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Anna Wednesday #14 (and some stuff about the MN State Fair)

Anna at the Minnesota State Fair last Friday:

That was her face for the entire ride. If you ask her, she'll tell you she had a lot of fun.

The MN State Fair is notorious for it's artery clogging food (as I'm sure most state fairs are). Cheese curds, corn-dogs, various things on sticks which are sometimes wrapped in fried pig flesh.


So I always go with a sort of anti-fair attitude, but then once I get there I remember that it's about so much more than the food. It's about ... the animals that are destined for slaughter! Great!

But we avoid that stuff. We go for the rides, the people watching and the concerts (the Flaming Lips played there a few years ago and last year we saw Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings for free!). Oh, and they have a "green" building that showcases sustainable stuff. And a ton of Minnesotan art, most of which is really good and some of which is portraits made out of macaroni.

I'm not kidding.

Anyway, Mrs. Piggy found this awesome post about vegan food at the fair over at The Saucy Coconut, a local blog that I didn't know existed until a few days ago. We got some tamales and, yeah, they were awesome.