The Swan Life: April 2017

Swan Life

Well April was a great month for us… and it started on day one. Yes, I mean April Fool’s Day. This wasn’t a joke to us, we had our second child on April 1st. He was a perfect 6 lb 13 oz bundle of joy that entered the world in a hurry. Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes, we really appreciate all the kind words! Hey guys, it’s Lucy here to recap The Green Swan life in April. Get ready for my take this month…basically on kids and food (what is better in life?)

Third Birthday

Let me start out by talking about our oldest child. He turned three years old on Good Friday this year and I can’t believe how fast time has flown with him in our world! The timing worked out perfectly to have some family in town to meet the new baby, celebrate Easter and to throw a dinosaur birthday party fit for a three year old. He’s really into the show DinoTrux on Netflix. Have you ever heard of it? It’s basically a little kids dream… a show that includes dinosaurs, trucks and building things. Bonus for the parents, it’s not all that bad to watch.

My mom and sister-in-law did most of the party planning and they went all out! Ok let’s be honest, they did all the planning. But hey, I was due to have a baby 2 weeks beforehand! They both understood my situation and loved pitching in. It started with the invitations. My mom is very crafty and whipped these up herself. She even sent them all to me in a big package so I could mail them out on behalf of our son. Love you mom!

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The duo designed a toddler friendly obstacle course for the back yard (equipped with obstacles that required jumping, crawling and a little bit of balance). My son loved this and ran through it multiple times. Let’s just say some of the adults had some fun with it too.

The cake was probably the most impressive part. My mom came up with a great idea that was not only keeping with the DinoTrux theme, but a cake that also didn’t overdue the sugar for little kids. She called Dunkin’ Donuts and ordered 4 dozen cake donut holes without the glaze. We then piled them high, added some “chocolate rocks” and frosting to help glue them together and we had ourselves a pile of ore which is the DinoTruxs’ favorite food. It was perfect for a DinoTrux figurine to sit atop and others to surround and carry out the theme. We ate that “ore” on some DinoTrux Plates and DinoTrux Cups as well. I meant it when I said my mom and sister-in-law went all out!

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Killed the Recipe Goal

I really thought of all months April would be the hardest for me to achieve my recipe goal. Not to beat this excuse like a dead horse, but I just had a baby! In reality all the extra time I spent at home gave me the opportunity to browse Pinterest and come up with some new recipes to try. JW went in depth about our new vegan journey last week. Needless to say I’ve been searching for some good vegan recipes lately and have found some healthy, easy and most importantly, delicious ones! For now here are a few of the meals we’ve made from the Forks Over Knives sample meal plan. I’ll report back next month on how our vegan journey has treated us in terms of finding more and more yummy meals. For now, here are a few pictures from the meals we’ve made.

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Sante Fe Penne
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Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad

Sun Basket

You probably know that we’ve fans of the meal delivery service and have tried out a few different ones over the past year or so. I talked about our Blue Apron and Hello Fresh experiences in my October Swan Life post. In April we got a coupon in the mail to give Sun Basket a try for $35 (off of the normal price of $69) so we thought why not? It counts as new recipes, am I right?? We opted for the vegetarian options so not totally vegan (recipes still included some cheese and egg), but pretty close. The egg was actually meant to be soft cooked which I can’t stand so we (read, me) decided not to cook them at all. There were actually 2 recipes out of the 3 that I would totally try again. Saving these new recipes is perfect for our vegan transition.

One main difference between Sun Basket and other meal delivery services (mainly Blue Apron) was the amount of prep work. Blue Apron always included some great vegetables in the meals, but you always have to spend time cleaning, chopping, dicing, mincing, you name it. Normally I don’t mind this work as it’s somewhat therapeutic (I like to cook with a glass of wine nearby), but with now 2 kids around the house I’ll gladly accept the assistance that Sun Basket offers. Yes there is still some work, but vegetables come chopped and ready to cook and the menus definitely come together quicker which helps keep our family fed and happy.

Baby Makes Four

As the intro briefly explained, we are now a family of four. It’s crazy to me even when I type those words. I’m also officially outnumbered by boys in this household. That’s perfectly fine with me though, I’ve always pictured myself a mom of all boys. Speaking of which, that’s the fact that will save us the most having a second child. This means there’s no need to purchase new pink clothes or toys and such. Little brother has already been showered with plenty new clothes, but the rest of his wardrobe will be supplemented by what big brother has grown out of. Don’t get me wrong, little brother will still get some new items, just no need to buy everything brand new. It’s perfect!

Thank you again for all the well wishes! I look forward to keeping you all up to date on our vegan journey and how our lives have changed with a new member in the family.

How was your April? Play any pranks on April Fool’s Day? What creative ways have you celebrated a birthday? Have any good vegan recipes for us to try? Or how about any great vegan websites with recipes for us to check out?

-Lucy

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26 Comments

  1. That’s a great idea for a cake. Very easy for everyone. It’s pretty amazing how time flies when you have kids. Your 2nd is perfect timing too. You can reuse a ton of stuff. We got rid of all the baby stuff because we didn’t plan to have a 2nd kid. April was low key for us. No big changes, but that’s fine because life is good already. 🙂

    1. Oh yes I can’t imagine buying all the baby stuff all over again. Don’t get me wrong, we were very practical with purchasing only the baby items we found necessary (and leaving out the gimmicky stuff), but even then there is a ton! Great to hear life is good, it’s an amazing feeling! -Lucy

  2. That cake is all kinds of awesome. Well done TGS Grandma! We had a birthday in April too – toddler BITA turned 3. We hosted her party in our backyard and our theme was “Come make a mess with us”. Messes included, but were not limited to, having the kids slide into a pool filled with shaving cream and ‘dirtying’ our car and having them wash it off. There is a post on my blog with pictures and all the gory, messy details.

    1. April babies are the best! I love that theme for a 3 year old. So did it end with a car wash to clean the kids up too? Did any of the adults get in on the pool filled with shaving cream too?! 🙂 I’m going to check out your pictures now, thanks! -Lucy

      1. Some of the kids had to be hosed down at the end of the party. And I will confess that after the guests left I walked around barefoot in the shaving cream pool for a little while : )

  3. OMG, Congrats on the new baby. Kids are great. Why don’t you post these recipes, or you do? I would love to try these salads and vegetarian food on a budget.

    1. I wanted to post the recipes or at least the link to them, but the website restricts that. You need to sign up for the sample meal plan in order to access, sorry! Please do check out the Forks Over Knives website though. I also am getting a ton from Pinterest so next month I’ll actually post links to the recipes I’ve tried. -Lucy

  4. Oh Dinotrux! Ours just missed out on that one, but I’m still aware of it. That’s awesome getting to design a whole birthday theme around it and keeping the cake to a lower sugar content is genius. 🙂 Ours got into Blaze and the Monster machines, Octonauts, even Dora for a stretch. Now it’s mostly Star Wars related stuff and legos.

    I need to do some version of the new recipe challenge, because I’ve been in a big cooking rut recently. Thanks for the inspiration to get out of that rut.

    1. Hmm we have a Blaze toy, but we’ve never actually seen the show! Guess we should check it out to know what he’s all about, huh? So glad I can help people get out of a recipe rut. It’s too easy to get in and harder to get out. I’ve been having fun testing some new ones out!! -Lucy

      1. I liked the show because they use math, physics and engineering to explain stuff on a kid level, but still introduce them to science concepts. It makes it easier to watch as an adult, lol.

  5. Congrats on the new addition! And that cake needs to be on Pinterest. You will probably get 100,000 views to your page haha.

  6. awesome cake! Glad to hear your vegan diet is going well. If you haven’t already, be sure to google The Happy Herbivore. She has some of the best recipes and most are made with stuff that you already have. Try her black bean burgers.

  7. Last year we had a pirate party! Easy set up, easy costumes for everyone. We made two foot tall cardboard ships and had the kids paint them.

    After that came the “battle” and we used large red “cannonballs” for a modified dodgeball game. Then general mayhem and a treasure hunt with the parents hiding a treasure chest and drawing on the map for their kids to find it.

    It was a good time, but that cake looks INCREDIBLE!

    1. I love the idea of a pirate party! The treasure hunt and dodge ball game sounds like great activities for kids. Thanks for sharing! -Lucy

  8. The party sounds awesome and that cake is amazing. Also, congratulations on your new arrival. We have two boys as well (3 and 1). Finally, in comparing similarities, our family is also vegan. It’s cool to read about another family in a similar position. Now, if only we had your net worth! 😉 Thanks for sharing and I hope May is shaping up to be a fantastic month for you guys as well.

  9. Wow very similar! Little boys are fun, huh? How do they do eating vegan? I’m finding myself having a bit of a hard time getting our 3 year old to eat the meals we do. -Lucy

  10. Congrats and good luck with the latest addition to the family. We recently jumped to a family of five and it’s been… overwhelming. Hang in there 🙂

  11. Hey, hey. Congratulations to you both. It seems only a short while back that the big announcement was made that you were adding to the GS family and now it’s finally happened. I’m very happy for you both and reading between the lines, all went well on the day.

    How is Green Swan Jr handling the changes? All of a sudden he’s not the sole focus of attention any more, although it sounds like he’s being well looked after with help from Grandma and Aunty.

    Looking forward to tales from the Green Swan family of four.

    1. Thank you very much! Yes the delivery went smoothly, we were very fortunate. TGS Jr. is handling the addition very well. Everyday he comes home from school and instantly wants to know where his brother is. Mom is getting passed up for the first hug/kiss.. little brother gets that honor now 🙂 -Lucy

    1. Ha! Although not a true warning, I did let you know this post was about kids and food 🙂 Hope you found something yummy to try out this weekend! -Lucy

  12. Congrats on baby #2 and the party for baby #1 looks awesome. I would have loved to have an obstacle course for my third birthday let alone that awesome cake. Sounds like you have great family to help out!!!

  13. Thank you so much! We had a great time with family in town, but I do with they lived closer and could stop by more often. We have learned to cherish the times our boys have with Grandma and Grandpa. -Lucy

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