Monthly Archives: August 2013

Disney Nerd Alert!

It’s true, we are Disney nerds. At first look it not what you would expect. Disney somewhat embodies everything we don’t like: loud, crowds, commercialism, screen time for kids, …… But yet, we love it. Being at Disney just makes you happy. We have had up to7 kids at Disney, how do we do it you ask? Well here are my tips!

Phone number– Write it on their arm in Sharpie (preferably under a sleeve). Even those old enough to remember can forget when lost and scared. This will make them getting back to you a lot faster of a process, other adults or a cast member can call you. We always tell our children before hand if they do get lost to find a cast member or a mother with children and ask for help. (what mom wants to take another kid on, they will be happy to get them back to you!)

Clothing– Dress them in the same color. I am all about being an individual so don’t force them to wear exactly the same thing, just make sure when your eyes go looking for your little people you have the same color you are scanning for. Saves time as well when someone is lost and you are describing what they are wearing to a cast member to help find them.

Food– Kids will eat what you offer if they are hungry, fill them up the best you can on things brought from home and save money! If they are already full from food you brought, sharing food and buying less can help your money go a long way. Feel free to spluge on yourself if buying less for the kids! FYI Disney has some great vegan food, and Starbucks!

SnacksJustin’s Nut Butter, Larabar, Nuts, Go Go Squeez, Peanut butter bread (with jelly if you do that)

Water– We always have an adult caring a pack, but the big kids each have one too! They are all able to carry some snacks so you can lighten your load! Our little please all use a Camelbak.

Planning– Fast passes can be your best friend, use them wisely! Have you heard of rider switches? If you have little ones that can’t go on a ride, one of you can wait with them while the other goes on.  Make sure to let a cast member know then you can get a rider switch and your other adult can go on. It’s good for two people so you can get creative with who goes on rides when! Sometimes we have a bigger kid who lucks out and gets to go on a ride twice!

Long lines– Plan snack time while waiting and always do a potty break before or at the beginning of long lines. If one parent gets in line and the other takes everyone on a potty break, you can usually excuse your way up to the other adult without anyone getting too upset.

And always remember to have fun! Even if it’s stressful, busy, you don’t see everything you would like, it’s still Disney!

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Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex’s Suck

Sometimes its hard to remember to breathe. To remember that you can’t make everything perfect and the pretty picture you would like. To remember that everyone has to make their own choices in the world and that you can do nothing about it. Deciding to be friends with an Ex takes that to the extreme. Attempting to look at your kids happiness, you ex’s wants, and your own happiness is a lot to keep in balance. Every day is a new learning experience and a new chance for growth.

Seth decided to run Cascade Crest 100 before our big summer adventure was planned. The kids would be in school the week before so flying there for the weekend was always the plan. Slowly the plans changed and instead of myself going with him it would be his +1 and instead of just a weekend trip it turned into a week long trip. Already this was slightly disheartening, but when we got back to Phoenix and realized finding a home would be harder then we had thought, remembering to breathe became harder.

I wanted to assume Seth would alter his plans. I mean, your kids are still not in their own space, they don’t have a place to call home, and you are pushing back the home search an entire week? To me it seemed to make sense to just shorten the trip a little. Come back early and continue in this house search. I thought doing this would be best for the kids, I thought it was an obvious plan. With all those I’s clearly I was forgetting to breathe.

Its takes a lot to step back from that situation and realize Seth is an adult and can make choices for himself, I can not change them. In the end I figured out where to stay, how to keep the little ones happy in this crazy situation, and that’s my job. The choices your Ex makes have nothing to do with your relationship with you kids, it only affects them. In the long run you can not make anyone change their behavior, even if you think it would be in the best interested of your kids. As a Mother my job is to keep the kids healthy and happy in whatever situation I am thrown. If down the line choices your Ex makes affect your kids, that is on your Ex, and their relationship with the children will be affected.

So, make the best of what you are given. We spent days at the park, time doing homework at Starbucks, did a crazy turn around trip to beautiful Colorado, and overall had an awesome adventure. Although remembering to breathe can be difficult, in the end silly arguments aren’t going to get you anywhere and will just negatively affect everyone involved. Let things go when they don’t really matter, make the best of everything,  take the chance to have a new adventure.

See it's so hard for me to remember I had to get it tattooed on my wrist!

See it’s so hard for me to remember I had to get it tattooed on my wrist!

Categories: Divorced Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Single Mom

I miss my kids…

This whole “parenting alone after the divorce” thing has finally began. Seth and I each have the kids for basically 24 hours. We are still couch surfing so really having us all in one place for any extended amount of time isn’t feasible anyway. Even when the kids are with Seth I call every night to say goodnight and he does the same when I have them. But I still find myself missing them.

When I had Tajh I become a Mom full-time. I have gone to school on and off and worked a little, but I was still there every night. This last 2 years of Seth and I being separated and now divorced has been an interesting transition in my Mothering. I began leaving the children for nights, going on trips without them, and not living every single day for them. At first it was exciting, I became a Mom at 19 so I never really made choices for myself. The excitement has worn off.

I don’t know what to do with myself. When I have them its constantly planning the next move, keeping 5 kids fed and happy is a full-time gig. When I don’t have them even making food is confusing. How do I cook for 1 person? I find myself getting lost on the internet, snacking on terrible foods, and overall just not knowing what to do with myself.  I can sit and blog, email, get this “life” thing organized, but then what. I have time to run, but I’m still broken so that’s just disappointing. I find myself sad.

So how does someone who has spent 10 years of their life living for their little people find themselves again? How do I become my own person, not simply the T’s  Mom, but Sabrina? And how do I do this when I really don’t want to? When all I want is to be with my kids all day every day?

Moral? I know what Seth and I are doing is right, but that doesn’t mean it feels good. I am allowed to grieve the loss of my former life. The place I felt comfortable, happy, love. The place where I was a Mom, all day every day. Where I didn’t have an identity of my own and that was ok. I miss never being able to go to the bathroom alone. I miss cooking and having a million little people under my feet. I miss having 5 little people talking to me at one time. I miss never having enough hands. I miss not being able to remember if I brushed my teeth. I was ready to no longer be Seth’s wife, I’m not sure I was ready to be Sabrina.

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Couch Surfing

Everyone has had that friend that crashes at you place “just for a night” and 2 weeks later they can still be found on your couch,    Well lets try this, multiply that time 7, would you let them stay? Seth and I are currently on a mission to find out, how long can 2 adults and 5 kids couch surf before we severely overstay our welcome.

Since getting back a week ago we have been intensely looking for a place to live. Our plan of not having anything figured out before our homeless summer was cute when we started, but now seeing the housing market here it’s scary to say the least. Renting is our only real option currently and rentals are priced high and getting renters quickly. What doesn’t help is walking into a home with 5 kids and 3 animals, clearly we are not the ideal renters. So we continue to search, but in the interim a new experiment was born.

Currently we are splitting out time between Seth’s Mom’s house and my best lady friend Lala’s.  The kids have had many social events leading up to school starting so that has kept us all pretty busy together during the day, along with the house searching. Needless to say we are not use to this heat so meltdowns and grumpiness are pretty regular. We both try and be as helpful as possible at our respective crashing spots, but how long will people really put up with us?

In just a few days Seth leaves to run Cascade Crest, a 100 mile race in Washington. The kids and I will be here still doing the school thing and all. My biggest concern is couch surfing for 7 days, alone with 5 kids while Seth is gone. Just the simply tasks of putting 5 kids to bed is made that much harder in a home not your own. Add to that that my little people are use to sleeping in a tent or car makes things even more difficult.  Breakfast creates that many more dirty dishes, which uses that much more water to clean them, which costs that much more.  At what point does someone say “enough is enough” to this homeless gaggle of peeps?

 

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Great for camping!

Bag of pasta (Fun shapes are better!)- cook that per package

Mix dry ingredients and put in sauce pan over medium heat-

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup flour

garlic salt

onion powder

maybe a little more salt and pepper

Slowly add wet ingredients-

A cup of water plus a cup of plain soy milk

3 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk this all together and try to make it smooth (never works well for me). Be patient and it will thicken up nicely! If you have any veggies add them in!

If not..

Hobo Style- Any leftover veggie ends (broccoli stalk) either yours or your friends, add it in! Cheese sauce makes everything better!

Mac and Cheese cooked van side!

Mac and Cheese cooked van side!

 

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Categories: Vegan Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Vegan Camping Food Goodness

One of the biggest search terms coming to our blog is “vegan camping food”.  So in an effort to give the people what they want, here is a little of what we cook on the road!

First and foremost for us, we like to hit up as much fresh fruits and veggies we can. Giving a child an apple as a snack always feels better to me than handing them anything packaged. One of the kids’ current favorite is being handed a whole mango. They simply peel as the eat, or eat the peel as well. The mess is worth it on this one!

Greens!

Greens!

Cauliflower, sweet potatoes and garlic salt!

Cauliflower, sweet potatoes and garlic salt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With green veggies a little browning in oil, salt, and garlic usually does the trick for us. Cauliflower is a huge hit either browning with salt and pepper or cooking up some cauliflower fritters:

Boil cauliflower until tender enough to mash

add 1/2 cup of flour and 1 egg replacer per cauliflower head

salt and pepper to taste

form into patties and cook in oil until browned on both sides

Cauliflower Fritters...

Cauliflower Fritters…

 

With a smile!

With a smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When fresh isn’t an option, how we supplement to keep it cheap. Pancakes, biscuits, banana bread, all these can be made vegan in a jiffy! Play around with them and get creative. Add a little extra sugar to your biscuit dough and fry it in oil for some yummy vegan camping donuts (with jelly on top?). Canned chili might not seem too amazing, but add some fresh avocado and suddenly you’ve upped the nutritional value and deliciousness of the meal. Pasta can be a kid favorite with some fresh vegetables, oil, and garlic salt. Even boxed rice can be spiced up with some canned black beans and kale. Basically when running low on veggies and fruit, supplementing with carbs wont be the end of the world and will help you stretch out the super nutritional stuff.

Chili made Fancy

Chili made Fancy

Noodles and Veggies!

Noodles and Veggies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foraging- A wonderful Lady I know Mrs. Lylal Ledner convinced me foraging was a wonderful idea one day as I followed her around her beautiful farm, The Simple Farm. There with her I felt safe tasting everything despite the fact that I had no idea what it was. Convincing as she was, out on my own in the real world I got scared! So alas, no foraging was done except blackberries and a wonderful surprise of roadside strawberries one day. Sorry Lylah, one day I hope I can get up the courage! The beautiful possibilities that lie out there in the world that we don’t even know about are a perfect option for non scaredy cat vegans!

While strawberries found by the roadside!

While strawberries found by the roadside!

Favorite packed products-

Justin’s nut butter! Have you tried it? Squeeze packs make every child (and adult!) into happy campers plus they have vegan peanut butter cups (just the dark chocolate ones), I may be in love!

Lara Bars. Just dates and nuts? Yes please! Tons of awesome flavors for kids to choose from without the added sugar for mom to stress about, everyone is happy!

The moral of my cooking has become “just roll with it” some of our best meals have come when I thought we were going to be hungry that night. Sometimes your grill doesn’t work and you have to cook on the ground on a tiny Jetboil, roll with it. Sometimes you don’t have the correct utensils and find yourself improvising like a pro. Creativity is always the key!

Sometimes...

Sometimes…

You just make things work!

You just make things work!

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ashland- SOB 50K

Late post-

I think I am in love. If I could live anywhere all summer Silverton is my all time choice with Ashland not being far off as second. It is a super cute little town having all the quiet and character Leadville lacks. Both Seth and I had a hard time dealing with how “busy” Leadville seems, Ashland just seemed much less “on the go”. We spent the morning at the railroad park called such because it sits next to the tracks, a little disappointing but still a cute place. In true homeless style we cooked our lunch there as the children climbed trees and made new friends. The joy of having no agenda.

How 8 years old taper

How 8 years old taper

Keeping it green the day before their big race.

Keeping it green the day before their big race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-shirt pick up at Rouge Valley Runners wasn’t too exciting but luckily we draw attention!  We parked in front of this super cute antique store and as I stared longingly in at all the amazing old books, the kind woman who I believe owns it came out.  She informed the kids for all children 10 and under it was free book rushed them inside and began offering them all wonderful options, of course they were all super excited! The children all shook hands and gave high 5’s to her husband as we said our thank yous and headed on our way. I love happy people who just want to make the day of others! So thank you to the lovely couple, my children (who are complete and totally book nerds) were beyond happy with their selections. This super cute couple also looked up our blog, how cute is that?!

Tea being sad I would not buy her a new handheld for the race.

Tea being sad I would not buy her a new handheld for the race.

The kids each got their shirts, picked out some race nutrition, and we headed for a nice walk around town. +1 informed me we should have the kids try the Lithia water in Lithia Park. Always up for tricking my children we convinced them to all partake and of course they all were grossed out (expect Tru… hmm…). The best part of this was our new friend Pirate we met. He informed us that this water was a joke and showed us where the real water fountains were, right next to the Lithia Water. Pirate then informed us until the day prior he had longer hair then Tajh, but he cut it for court. Apparently that did not help the outcome of his case, at which point he asked if we needed any weed. Being cautious Pirate whispered this, you know, since the kids were there and all. Overall, I think Pirate is a great guy. Silly court system in Ashland…

Tajh loving all his race nutrition picks from Rouge.

Tajh loving all his race nutrition picks from Rouge.

Tru apparently isn't too picky.

Tru apparently isn’t too picky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So between Pirate and our finding of a super cute little market to grab some tasty food at, we had quit the exciting day in Ashland. Eventually we headed up to Mount Ashland to sleep at the start, and the kids and I ran the course a little to get a shake out run and a feel for what they had ahead. Both of them had finished a 50k plus a little before, but this was the first time they would be running a set distance, non loop course. Honestly I was a little nervous, and with Seth being the one to run with them and me having to watch the little ones it was worse. I love being there with my little people, and helping them through the lows. The real joy with the kids is being there during their highs. I have never seen my kids as goofy as they get when feeling amazing hours into a race, although it is hard to keep up at those times! So we ran, and then had a dinner of mash potatoes and veggies, and they headed to sleep.

Getting a feel for the course.

Getting a feel for the course.

In the morning it was a little crazy getting all 3 of them ready and sending them away, but once they were gone the sitting and waiting was terrible. I have no idea where they were at and occupied my time hanging out with the little ones and cleaning the van a bit. I knew Seth would get cell reception at some point on the way in so I asked him to text me back whenever he had it. Seven hours into the race with a 7 ½ hour cut off (which apparently actually isn’t enforced) he text me they were still on the PCT; it was going to be close for Tea. I immediately assume that means Tajh is ahead, then I second guessed myself and ask for clarification. See, we usually run ever step of a race with the kids, I don’t believe either of them should be out on a course alone. Its not that I don’t trust them, its just IF something does go wrong, I believe Mommy or Daddy should be there. Going into this race we knew it would be hard. They can usually run together some, but for an entire 50K that just wasn’t going to happen. Seth is really good about running back and forth between them, but what if they were so far apart he couldn’t?  Seth eventually text me back Tajh was behind… shit. If Tea was going to barely make, what is Tajh going through mentally?

My two amazing Littles at the start.

My two amazing Littles at the start.

Seth woke Tajh up by telling him the race started in 3 minutes, MEAN!

Seth woke Tajh up by telling him the race started in 3 minutes, MEAN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teagan and Seth coming running in, huge smile on Tea as always, and the race director announces Seth’s name as he has done for all people previous. I believe I yelled something like “and Teagan” and he looking completely confused and disheveled then yells, “I cant see her number”. Now here’s my point, if an 8 year old girl is signed up for your 50k, shouldn’t you take notice? And on top of that, not being able to see her number? Is that really an excuse when she is THE ONLY 8 YEAR OLD GIRL?! Seth runs by and yells her name which the guy then butchers… ugh… To continue on the volunteers then try and not give her a finisher medal and Seth has to correct them on that and then they aren’t taking the chip off her shoe. *sigh*  Not a happy Momma here AND Tajh is still out there. I offer to run back and find him but Seth informs me he has it, and off he goes.

Coming in to the finish with Daddy!

Coming in to the finish with Daddy!

This Lady is amazing!

This Lady is amazing!

As Seth takes off a man rushes over to talk to Tea. At first I assume he is a race director, but no he is actually a reporter. It basically is chaos at this point as my tired little girl tries to talk to this man (which she actually did a wonderful job at!) I try and wrangle 3 little people, stress about Tajh, and try and get my little lady whatever she needs. Eventually its back to sitting and waiting, but this time with Tea too. Forty minutes later Tajh and Seth come running up. Tajh’s name gets butchered by the man announcing and he luckily gets his finisher medal without too much hassle. Poor Tajh did not have the best day out there, but that little guy sure stuck it out and finished.

He loves his medal.,

He loves his medal.,

Finishing with Daddy. Not the time he would have wanted, but still awesome in my book!

Finishing with Daddy. Not the time he would have wanted, but still awesome in my book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hung out for a while, a couple of people congratulated the kids, and the kids had their free post race meal from a taco truck. They do get caffeine in long races and they both informed us it didn’t kick in until after the race. This “crazy mode” as Tea calls it I think isn’t the caffeine (I think they use that up during the race) I believe its just a little post race high. Honestly they are just crazy, talkative, and goofy. I feel like its similar to those kids after the dentist videos that go viral, maybe I should film it!

Tea in "crazy mode"

Tea in “crazy mode”

Post race vegan gummy worm.

Post race vegan gummy worm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So with no race director ever coming over to say anything to them, we eventually head on to our next adventure, which turned into the Redwood debocal of 2013 . Maybe I’m silly, but I believe my children deserved a little nod from the race directors. They are the youngest finishers of SOB 50k (at least that I saw) and I think that they desired a “good job”. Instead they got people almost seeming annoyed that they were there. Tea finished under the time cut off, with many people behind here, and Tajh was by far not the last finisher. They were not in the way, not a pain to have out there, they were the same as any other finisher, just shorter. Oh well I suppose. They both got medals they were super excited about and they both were happy with their performances. They thought the course was very pretty and they both of course were happily playing not too long later. Although I am jealous of their recovery time, I love my little people and I am so proud of both of them for their finishes!

Dirty feet. New Balance is all they wear, both finished the 50k in 890's.

Dirty feet. New Balance is all they wear, both finished the 50k in 890’s.

Moral of this, I love Ashland. I think I need to plan another visit, spend some more time, maybe even a different race! 🙂

Tajh’s race report

Tea’s race report

*July26-27

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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