So we’ve been on hiatus since May, but with good reason. I admit it, I am a total procrastinator and love being under the pressure of the deadline. As a former journalist and now in my public relations career I thrive on deadlines! I waited until the last minute to do my June blog and on the evening of Friday June 29th we were hit with this major storm ("Derecho") and the winds downed power everywhere in the region. There was no place to get gas for your car and it was also during a hell of a heat-wave. Due to the massive damage, our power didn’t get restored until late Sunday night on the 30th. We stayed with friends who live only a half an hour away and were lucky enough to have electricity. Then we left for a week at the beach the following weekend. Needless to say, we’ve been super busy and now we have a move on the horizon (next week). We are just moving a couple counties away, but this will be the first move since the boys arrived. The house we live in now is all Astral and Defy have ever known. I’m sure there will be an adjustment period, let’s just hope the adjustment has nothing to do with sleeping…
Astral and Defy are now 28 months old (for a couple more days). They still love to sing, dance, read, draw and pretend to cook (sometimes like The Vegan Zombie). Interactive role playing is their absolute favorite thing right now. Watching them play together is fascinating; it is so seamless and in sync and can go on for hours (again…ridiculous attention spans for 28 months). They are also still enamored by nature and all its offerings, and still prefer to simply examine insects, other animals, and plants over playing on playground apparatuses, although they enjoy that too.
This past weekend we attended an open house at our local farm sanctuary, Poplar Springs. DnA loved seeing all of their animal friends again. At one point Astral began happily following some geese that were walking in a single-file line to a pond. If daddy hadn't intervened Astral might have gone right in with them! The boys were taken aback by the size of the bulls and were very excited at the sight of the beautiful hens, roosters, turkeys, a peacock, and rabbits. They were a little scared of a mule and all the huge pigs but haven't stopped talking about them ever since. Their favorite animal friend was Malcolm the goat, who was just a kid last visit and is now all grown up. Both DnA have been incorporating him into their role-playing and have even been saying that they are him. There's a pic of kid Malcolm in our October 2010 post, Sitting and Crawling and Standing - OH MY...
We vacationed at the beach for a week in early July and were lucky enough to have some of both sides of our families there to share the trip with us. The boys were perfect on the 8 hour road trip there and on the journey home as well. While there, they were sitting with one of their Grandfathers flipping through a magazine and came upon an ad for a popular fast food place. The ad was basically a huge nasty-looking hamburger with all the traditional fixings. The boys looked at the picture and named everything from top to bottom that made up the sandwich and when they got to the flesh they pointed to it and said “…ewwwww, that’s a cow”! Everyone thought it was smart and cute and had a big laugh, even though they all eat cow-flesh hamburgers. I don't think daddy or I have ever said "ewww" to the boys about disgusting animal flesh, that was all them! They know that they drink coconut milk and that some of their friends and family members drink cows' milk. What 2 year old ask “What’s in it?” or say "That's an animal!" when offered food? Astral and Defy do!!! They really loved the beach. At first they were both pretty scared of the ocean, but by the end of the week they were loving the waves and wanted to be dipped and swung into them. It was such a fun trip for the whole family.
Kale Power!!!Astral and Defy show other signs of comprehension of why we don’t eat (or otherwise exploit) animals that is far beyond their age. We have That's Why We Don't Eat Animals by Ruby Roth, and ever since we read it to them for the first time, they have been very aware of animal confinement. They often say, "he/she's in a cage" when watching the rare treat of an animal focused documentary (especially one about rescuing orphan kittens or, as they say, the "kitty boo boo doctor") online. They even pretend that their toy animals are in a cage and they are trying to release them! No joke! Sometimes they are even the animal in the cage, and daddy and I have to explain how being in a cage isn't fun. While at the sanctuary they yelled, "they're in a cage" when they noticed that some of the animals were behind a fence or kept in their designated areas, so we had to explain that the sanctuary keeps them in those areas for their own good and not to use or harm them. They haven't even reached the whole "why?" stage yet! Oh, boy!
Astral and Defy had their first sweet, sugary treat this month at our local Loving Hut. They ate homemade vegan ice-cream (made by Mimi Clark) and an organic waffle cone. Of course, they loved every single lick (Defy liked the cone, but Astral bit one big hole in the middle of his and was finished)! To our total happiness they still love their kale juice and haven’t asked for ice-cream since. We don’t prefer that they become JFV (junk food vegans), but a little vegan sweetness never hurt anyone…