Out with the old and in with ... more old?

I'm sorry folks, I just can't accept it.

I can't accept that it's 2012.

I am just not willing to accept that it's been 12 years since I rang the millennium with old high school best friends.

Yeah, I bet you feel old now, don't you?

In honor of new beginnings and fresh starts (not to mention a fresh coating of the white stuff early this morning -- symbolism much?), I'm going to start my first post of 2012 by looking back at my favorite 11 posts from 2011. Take that, fresh start.

In order from awesome to most awesome, I present you with my list of the 11 Chubby Vegan Mom blogs from 2011 that you just have to read.

No. 11: In July I got in touch with my religious side (or my not much of one) in A journey of faith. Religions is a constant battle for some people as it is, let alone when you start to add the vegan variation into it. Is there a religion suitable for vegetarians and vegans? Should veganism even play a role when it comes to faith? My family is on a continuous search to find a faith that not only supports our lifestyle, but one that we support as well.

No. 10: July also saw an in-depth look at the roles veganism and sexism play in play things, namely a toy kitchen. In Part one of When is a Kitchen just a Kitchen, I explored the genitalia-based manufacturing behind a seemingly non-confrontational toy kitchen. Were they really designed to be boy-friendly or were toy makers just throwing a grill on the side of one and saying it was? Part two of the kitchen series focused on the meat-eating, dairy-drinking side of toys. Instead of being chock full of veggies, fruits and everything else healthy, we were faced with toy canisters of whole milk, hot dogs and burgers. What's a vegan to do with all that plastic meat?

No. 9: In March we introduced nuts, legumes and all sorts of wonderful plant-based protein into our daughter's life. With her nearing her first birthday and her liquid-based diet tapering off, we slowly worked magical things like almonds, lentils and beans into mealtime (with the doctor's seal of approval that is). Unfortunately, I was faced with someone (a know-it-all shopper who, last time I checked, didn't have a medical degree) who decided my decision to feed Pearyn almonds wasn't a good one. This led to Pardon me while I hope up on my soapbox, a what-I'd-like-to-say-to-all-you-naysayers response to those of you who scoff at our vegan baby raising habbits.

No. 8: My eighth pick for 2011 blogs was one of hot debate. In This blog is brought to you by an angry chubby vegan mom, I begged and pleaded (and maybe barked a little) with people to just fix their damn pets already. And I still mean every.word.of.this.

No. 7: In July I also admitted to one of my biggest flaws ever: I'm not a super mom. I came to the realization that when you become a wife, mother and all sorts of other "labels," it's easy to lose yourself behind them. Somewhere along the way I lost the Amanda I was and I've been on a quest to find her since. If you happen to come across her (she's the carefree, creative, not ready to pull her hair out version of myself), please, let me know.

No. 6: In February I faced my first encounter with the bitchy kind. After introducing tofu to our little girl's diet (again, with doctor recommendation), I was harassed by two women in the grocery store when they overheard exactly what I was planning on doing with that block of tofu (feeding it to my daughter -- GASP)! In Go home, we don't like people like you, go to a doctor to be normal, you get this, I expressed my frustration with feeling like less of a mother because two women thought I was.

No. 5: Just this past year (like a month ago in December), I made a Not New Year's Resolution with myself to quit giving myself such a hard time. In When reducing my stress increases it, I detailed my plight at trying to be the perfect daughter, wife, friend and mother, and how hard it can be trying to be perfect all the time. I decided my goal of 2012 would be to cut myself some slack.

No. 4: A year ago this month, I came to the realization that I am, in fact, the chubby vegan. As a girl growing up I constantly didn't feel thin enough for anyone's standards. But after joining the vegan lifestyle, I really, really didn't feel thin enough. It's already hard enough to be a woman in today's stick-skeletor society, but when you have to explain to people that you don't eat meat or dairy and you STILL manage to not skinny, it's a real blow to the self esteem.

No. 3: In September I held my fellow vegans accountable for once. I detailed the inner-vegan-circle struggle to be "vegan enough" in a sometimes judgmental society in the blog Aren't we all on the same team. For the most part, we're a welcoming, friendly bunch who will give another vegan the last cookbook on our shelf to help them out, but as with every group, there are extremists, the quintessential "mean girls." I took a stab at addressing all those vegans out there who are just "so much better" than the rest of us.

No. 2: In September I made the shocking discovery that My daughter is a trend. They say that any press is good press (even bad one), but is this the case when an article claims that more and more parents are hopping on the vegetarian and vegan bandwagon? It may sound like a good thing, but it's frustrating to have to convince every single person you come into contact with that you are in fact, serious about your vegan lifestyle, and that you're pretty sure having been one for five years now doesn't count as a "phase" anymore.

No. 1: While it was tough decision, my all-time favorite post of 2011 was What kind of parent are you. In this post I called for not just vegan ones, but parents of all kinds, to start paying attention to what they're putting in their child's mouth. I'm willing to concede that it's possible to raise a child with meat and dairy in their diet responsibly (morally I still find it conflicting), but it's going to take some work. I encouraged parents not to adopt a vegan diet (although that would be fabulous), but to start educating themselves about the world around them and the food in it.

These are my top 11 of 2011, did you have any Chubby Vegan Mom posts you found particularly entertaining? Did you have any posts of your own from 2011 that you found noteworthy?

And now my promise, tomorrow, I will accept that it's 2012 (but today, I will mourn all my year's past).

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