Friday, January 23, 2009

meal planning change

I've been wanting some change lately. Something about the new year and the need for resolutions always puts me in the mood for change. Healthy change! What I always fail at doing, though, is going beyond reading about what I COULD do and actually do it. Then I found this great post over at Aprovechar and felt like I could really do this. Step Two in the Year of Self-Care is weekly meal planning, and last weekend that's exactly what I did.

My meals this week:

spinach omlettes
whole wheat quesadillas with baked chicken
halibut with assorted veg

blueberry waffles, fresh blueberries
homemade butternut squash soup
pot roast with mashed potatoes

oatmeal, fruit
veggie pancakes
spinach and mozarella ravioli

veggie omlette
roasted chicken with veg
homemade veggie pizza

scrambled eggs
chicken and veg quesadilla
leftover ravioli

This isn't everything on our plates, to be sure, there are bits of fruit I just pick and choose from the fridge for almost every lunch and snacks in between. It's just nice to know that I can open the fridge at any given moment and know exactly what I'm going to make, but also know that there are delicious leftovers if I don't feel like making something new. And Diego is totally loving the new food and the new change. This is just the first week, I know that, but it feels really good to be doing something better for us, all three of us. Hopefully we'll see some significant improvements in our budget, diet, lifestyles.

My goal for the next few weeks?
Pick a meal a week from a different culture around the world.
Eat at two to three vegetarian meals a week.
Make more homemade soup. Yum.
Start thinking more about local food. It's something I've been hearing about/reading about and I would love to learn more.

What about you guys? Planning on changing your diets this year?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

images of D floating around my head

-Diego goes "hmmm" and puts his finger to his mouth.
-I asked him to get the book with the wishing stars and he got up and pulled it straight out of the bookshelf. Geeeeeeeeenius.
-He fell asleep today with his leg thrown over his stuffed turtle.
-I looked over the kitchen counter and there are Jim and D sitting on the couch together and talking about goodness knows what.
-After an afternoon being shy with Mary, he warms up and reaches up to pull her hand so she can come with us to the kitchen.
-He laughs, throwing his head back and squinting his eyes as tight as he can.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I won an award!

Thanks to Court from Kaiya's Laughter Heals for the Gratitude award. I, however, am sick, sleep deprived and busy coughing up a lung and can't for the life of me figure out how to copy the image onto this blog post. So, instead, I'll use the power of description...oooOOOooooo

Picture a lemonade stand. The kind you hope your kids (or future pretend kids) will decorate and stand next to on the side of your cul-de-sac enticing the neighbors over with freshly made lemonade. It's, obviously, a hot day and the kids are taking turns playing with the sprinkler in the yard and manning the booth. The neighbors think it's adorable. All except Mr. Jorgensen who says he doesn't like kids and complains about all the kids in the neighborhood every chance he can but he's secretly just a sad, old man who wishes his grandkids would visit more often.

Ta DA! And thank you, Court, again!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

home away from home, part 2 of a texas holiday

Monday, December 29th

We drove down the country highway, through fields of green and brown and long horns and windmills, and I swear those lanes are alive, the way they breathe up and slowly down. We were going back to my favorite city on my favorite route, this two-lane highway that goes through the Texas pines and the rolling hills I just love. I couldn't help but compare these open, mellow lanes to the congested traffic you always see in Orange County no matter what time of day. The view here was so much better. It was a beautiful day to go back to our old home. Home. Austin wasn't my first home, but it has been the one I've held dearest to my heart. From the peacocks at Mayfield Park to the journals and Book People and lunch bentos at Banzai, there's something inside of me that will always miss Austin. It was the first city I freely explored and learned about on my own, and will always feel like home. My heart breaks having it so far away.

We got in to downtown on a beautiful day, sunny and gorgeous. We stayed at the Radisson on Town Lake which, as any stay in a hotel fancier than the Motel 8's I grew up with, sure was FANCY! Things NOT bolted down on tables? And sheets that aren't as soft as sandpaper? OOOoooooOOOOOooooo Seriously, though, I'm sure even if you had more experiences with fine outings you would also thing it was a nice hotel.

The next few days were a whirlwind of spontaneous planning between meeting Court and Rachel (my other lovely, beautiful barista buddy)and the myriad of friends that Jim and I have back home. I simply couldn't wait to see Court and her sprite of a daughter, Kaiya. I was worried, though, that Diego and Kaiya would hate each other or spend most of our time together trying to eat and/or beat each other up. Our worries, however, were totally unfounded once they met.

exhibit a.

Look at them holding hands! Isn't that just the cutest thing you've ever seen? We about died. DIED. Now I pass the dying to you, my friends. They pretty much loved each other. Yeah, that's right. They got along spectacularly. Diego didn't mind that Kaiya kept raiding his snacks and he even shared his books with her. It was really a joy to see them not only getting along, but looking for each other around the room. D's still not doing much more than parallel play with most kids his age, but older kids have always brought out the courage in him. He tries new things and does things I've never seen before. And Kaiya is a beautiful, happy kid and I loved spending time with her.

Not only was seeing Kaiya a priority, but seeing Court may have been even more important for me. We've know each other for EONS. We're that old. Actually, I think next year will be 10 years since I poked my head into her dorm room and asked if she wanted to hang out. Back when hanging out meant getting a cup of coffee or going to the park to swing or ignoring homework and playing racing games at the local game place. Sigh. Memmmmmooooorrrriiiiieeess. Ahem. And it was fantastic seeing her again.

So much happened during our few days. We went to the Austin Nature and Science Center, where Diego fell and split his lip on a fake tree and we dug in a huge dinosaur dig and also where we saw coyotes and wolves and the most excited, for Diego, PINE CONES! (He likes them. A lot.)

We got to hang out in Court's fabulous backyard and play with the many toys there. What a great backyard, right? Open and green and with plenty of space to run around or be pushed in a red plastic car.

We even managed to go the Austin Children's Museum on New Year's Eve before heading to the hotel where the babies partied the night away.

These are the babies partying around midnight.

So much and in so little time and it only made it that much harder to leave. My love to all our old and new friends, I missed you the moment I thought about the plane ride back to California. And the way home was horrible, but more about that in the shocking Part 3 of my holiday vacation posts. I miss y'all. Come kidnap me. I think there's some queso at Kerbey calling our names.

Monday, January 5, 2009

press pause now

Um, so part two of my wonderful vacation in Texas write up IS coming. Soon. It's kind of disgusting, really. I looked down one morning and there was this GROWTH on my chest who kept puking on me and whining so sadly and wouldn't let go. It looked like my baby boy, but really who can tell when you've slept less than two hours in a row for days? zzzzzzzzWhat? ahem Anyhow...Diego has been sick since the night before we flew out of Texas (we think it's partly because of all the partying he and Kaiya did, and partly because he misses her and all the friends he made, or he got Cooties) and he's been sick ever since. My poor little guy is completely out of whack. And seriously, won't let me go. Ever. Is taking over my lap as I type. And now I have to go. Typing with one hand is hard. And Mommy is tired.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

feliz cumpleanos to court!

Here's to my best friend, Court. I hope she has a beautiful birthday filled with fun surprises and good friends and tasty treats. Feliz Cumpleanos!

Friday, January 2, 2009

central texas, holiday 2008 part 1

We've been planning a visit Texas for years and finally got the chance to go back for Christmas. I can't begin to say how excited I was to leave the rolling hills of the OC behind on the way to the airport. This wasn't Diego's first flight, so we weren't worried about him having to drink on the way up or suck a lollipop or anything else they say you HAVE TO DO or the baby will EXPLODE. He prefers to look around and flirt with strangers. I wonder what he thinks of the plane. All these strange people sit down very close to each other, all facing quietly forward. Weird.

After a very long day we arrived at my in-law's house in College Station. We got in later than expected and the only people left were finished eating the elaborate banquet of Chinese chicken, duck, pork, several veggie dishes, and soup and were either playing board games, mah jong or pool. It was quiet. There was the hush of Mandarin and mah jong tiles clinking together in the next room and my mom in-law rushing around the kitchen on a broken foot to get us a plate to eat. We all fell asleep minutes later, with promises of more food the next day.

The next few days we spent in College Station were as usual for our vacations in central Texas; beautifully open and lazy, heavy with the dishes prepared especially for us. Jim's Mom made all his favorite dishes, and even one of mine. (Buns. To die for.) As usual everything was beyond delicious, fresh and tasty and deeply fulfilling. Why is it you can't really enjoy a good home-cooked meal until someone else makes it for you? We also played mah jong and I love mah jong, something about the cold tiles and the laughing when we can't remember the rules, and it was lovely laughing with the family.

We saw a lot of Jim's old friends and got to show off the todler who performed most of his bag of tricks. Ring around the rosy? Easy. Where's your nose? Please. He was a true traveling trooper. Seeing everyone just felt right in Texas. There's something about the big blue sky that says, hey, let's have our friends over for food. It's a friendly state.

It was too soon when we had to say good-bye. But we were off for Austin and nothing was going to stop me from seeing Court, my very bestest friend. We drove back to Austin on a gorgeous shiny day, passing empty fields and roaming long horns on a small two lane highway the entire way.

(Don't miss part 2, coming soon! Toddlers meet for the first time, old friends for the first time as Moms! How exciting. :) )