Saturday, June 27, 2009

Food allergies

When I was younger, I thought the idea of people being allergic to food was crazy. How can you be allergic to food?! But I guess karma bit me in the ass because all 4 kids of mine have food allergies. Malcolm is too young to test, but it’s clear he’s allergic to dairy because he has begun breaking out in hives. It used to be just red marks on the face wherever the allergen touched his skin. But now it’s hives. So no more mashed potatoes. And pasta has to have oil, not butter, on them. Two is the age where allergy testing can be done, but that’s 10 more months away. But mostly, the base here is not equipped to do testing. So when he’s eligible, we will either have to a) go to an Italian allergist and have the testing performed, b) go to Germany to one of the US Army bases there to be tested, or c) go to Portsmouth in VA to be tested. So we’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to come up with substitutions that will work for him AND the whole family. Malcolm can’t have dairy and Siobhan can’t have eggs, so it looks like vegan and whole food cooking is the way to go. The kids don’t like meat very much and I try not to eat it often, even though I do eat meat. Chris is a carnivore to the bone. So the kids will probably eat mostly if not totally veg, Malcolm will be mostly vegan, I will be *mostly* veg but probably not totally, and Chris is and will remain a carnivore to the bone. But the whole point of this post is, I’m searching for a good vegan cookbook for families (a vegan cookbook and a vegan cookbook geared to families are two very different things) with ingredients found at any grocery store (not specialty stores) and are easy to make. I’ve found several online, but can’t spend $50 on various cookbooks when what I *would* do is get them at the library first. But since our library has about 10 books, they’re not going to have any. So, does anyone know of any good vegan cookbooks that fit the above mentioned criteria.

I was so excited. I made a pasta dish last night that happened to be vegan. SO I gave some to Malcolm today and he had his nice vegan lunch of very simple ingredients…and then spit half of it out. I’ll try again later, because I have tons of this stuff and someone has to eat it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stormy weather

It’s been a very rainy few days lately. The other day we had a storm that produced hail and trampled some of my flowers I have in pots. Then last night it poured and drowned half of them. THEN! two of my flower pots broke, one to smithereens. So that has made me pretty annoyed. My strawberries and tomatoes are doing fine though, thanks to them being on a table against a wall and away from the rain.

Speaking of tomatoes, I have never grown them before. So I bought some seeds and planted about half of them in one big pot, because surely not all of them will grow. Wellllll, they did, and I have about 30 plants growing in a pot built for one. So I put a notice up saying free tomatoes so people will take them off my hands. It’s either that or off to the compost with them.

It is really, really killing me that we don’t have a yard to plant, but I’m starting to learn the joys of container gardening. I plan on planting a lot more vegetables next year. When I was a little older than Siobhan, my mom planted a garden in the backyard that yielded nothing. Frustrated, she gave me some seeds (because clearly they were duds) and told me to go outside and play one day. So I went to the backyard and happily threw seeds left and right, having such a great time. I even remember spilling some on the stone steps. Much to my mother’s annoyance, the seeds grew and we had asparagus, onions, and I think peas growing all.over.the yard. For years! I’m trying to get the kids involved as much as I can. They get to pick and eat the strawberries when they ripen. But we have very little of those. What veggies are good to grow in the summer?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Houston, we have walking

That’s right. Mr. Malcolm is (kindof) walking. He had been taking a step, then two, then three. Then today I watched him walk for nearly a full minute. Let’s see a count of hands for how unfair this is that Little Boy is growing up so fast! Yeah, that’s what I thought. I would like it noted that Malcolm is 13 months old, and his sister decided that 16 months was the proper age for walking.

I just stepped (slightly, not full on squishing mind you) on a slug for the second time this evening. And by this evening, I mean past 20 minutes. Buggers are quite slimy.

One of the joys of Italy is having a balcony. We have 2, and frankly I think every good apartment has 2, a larger one and a smaller one. Houses have several. I’m sitting on my front balcony enjoying a glass of wine and chips and salsa (because when one thinks of wine, one thinks of chips and salsa) and enjoying the cool evening. The temp inside with the AC is the same as outside right now, so I think I’ll turn the AC off.

The kids have finished school, finally this past Thursday. The will be going to camp this week here with the base recreation. O'Bryen also starts cheerleading camp this week. I think she’ll like it, but we’ll see.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful… beautiful boy

School days

This is *finally* the girls’ last week of school. They have never been in school for so long. Last summer we felt cheated out of a summer break since we spent the ENTIRE summer working on the house. And I mean the ENTIRE SUMMER. It sucked. But we vowed that next summer would absolutely be fun and dare say it will be! I bought a bunch of arts and crafts for the girls to do. We also have a pool pass and can go any time we want. Hopefully we’ll make it up to Florence and Rome this summer too. I just checked on hotels for Rome for this weekend, and they are very expensive. So I think I need to ask around first.