Friday, March 27, 2015

Vegetarian Meal Ideas and Snacks (for pregnancy or not)

sprouted red jasmine rice and vegetarian potstickers (from Trader Joe's)
with soy sauce, lime, avocado, cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese
peanut butter toast in the morning 
Mexican Bean and Corn Salad with Kale chips (adds vitamin K)
almond milk, greek yogurt, strawberry, blackberry smoothie with chia seeds
roasted red pepper and tomato soup with quinoa "salsa"
spinach salad with chick peas, carrots, cherry tomatoes and goddess dressing + asparagus and cherry tomato pizza
hard boiled egg fresh out of the pot with cracked pepper and sea salt
fresh coconut (stainless steel straw)
fava beans (although I prefer edamame, but the market was out!),
sautéed with mushrooms, red bell pepper, sesame seeds and a little soy sauce.
The drink is a blood orange Italian soda from Trader Joe's. 
p.s. while we're on the subject of food--I am making a mud pie this weekend for Scott's birthday. Does anyone have any good recipes? All he told me was he doesn't want gummy worms! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Sprout in the Briar

Yesterday I walked into a cement pole. It happened when I was waving goodbye to my dad's business partner, his sons and a bunch of investors. I wished my lip got fatter because then you could see how it hurt my body about as much as my pride and we could've focused on that instead. The first announcement we heard when we got to the train station after the incident was that the late train was going to be even later. The man with white hair and shiny pocket pins standing behind the counter explained that the tracks up in Carpenteria were being repaired and they had been switching trains around all day, trying to avoid big delays, but our train took the brunt of it. All Scott said was "It must be a hard job trying to keep all of this straight." And even though I wanted to be mad at something for causing us to get home to do our taxes an hour later than we should have been, I was glad he didn't say anything else.

There were about four vending machines inside the station and the whole place smelled like hot pockets and cup of noodle, so I wanted to window shop at each just to see how these items were distributed. You could push little buttons the size of scrabble pieces to direct the food in a circle and choose what you wanted. Cup of noodles was cheaper than a bag of pretzels, but when I saw cheese rice cakes I knew I needed to dig in my bag for quarters. Seeing how this day was going, I wasn't that surprised when the cakes got stuck. We shook the machine and slammed the little door open and shut to try and dislodge them, but they were more stubborn than we were and many people were sitting nearby trying to focus on a muted college basketball game, so we just let fate take its course for a minute. 

This morning I was out in the yard to survey the expansion project we've undertaken at the moment. There's a pine tree that might be older than Scott's grandparents, but I'm told it has to go. I've fought to keep it for the last six years despite complaints from family members about the constant falling sap and excessive needle shedding. But the contractor said the roof was about the only thing keeping it from falling on our new nursery, so it was time to say goodbye to bark and roots and needles that I could feel had been someone else's friend before too. New trees will come, but they won't know this place or us the same.

As I came inside, Scott called me on his way to work asking if I'd go out and take a picture of his old car that hasn't actually sold yet, sitting on our street. He hadn't had much time to look at it before he left, but there was a ticket on the windshield saying something about how he owed a hundred and six dollars for not turning his wheels the right direction. What he wanted me to document was that the other cars on the street, parked the exact same straight-wheeled way, were left fine-free. I figured that all I'd really be capturing was our unluckiness at the moment.

When I texted him the pictures he figured paying the fine was probably less of a hassle than going to court to argue the ticket. He said it was so lame and that he figured this kind of thing only served to make people like cops less. I texted back that it was the lamest, but that we have Sprout. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tofu Taco Crunch {Taco Salad with Fritos!!!}

Scott has been busy working in the nursery. On Monday he stayed up until midnight painting the walls. I've been randomly up at 4 a.m., startled by dreams about faulty baby baths and the third movie installment of The Hunger Games. I went over to my friend's house on Monday night to make dream catchers. I told her I had a dream where I was Katniss Everdeen, stuck in a coffin headed to space. The girl who was teaching us to make dream catchers, Laura, looked it up in her Dream Sight book. Apparently dreams about coffins can be associated with an upcoming change in your life. Did I mention we were tearing out half of the backyard too?

Since there have been a lot of changes going on, many of which I cannot control, or am not able to help with, I have resorted to doing things that help me release some of my anxious energies associated with these changes. Of course surfing, but I've always found cooking and crafting to be cathartic as well. 

My mom used to make "Taco Crunch" most every Monday when I was in grade school. It was everyone's favorite and so it made Monday seem less like the beginning of the work and school week and more like the day we got to eat Fritos with dinner.

She used to make a meat or chicken version, so the other day when Scott was working on Sprout's room, I took to re-creating this beloved recipe with tofu. It was a warm night, so we ate it in the backyard. 

I will fill you in more on the new renovation projects soon. The backyard will still be a lot the same, hopefully just a little wider and longer. We are installing a new fence along our actual property line and raising up some of the dirt to be level across the whole yard.

It's exciting! It's overwhelming! At the end of it all, as my mom would say, there's nothing to worry about, it's life. 

Taco Crunch
Serves 4-6

1 bag of Fritos
1 can of refried beans
1 head of lettuce, chopped thinly
1 package of ground tofu (I used the Smart Ground kind)
a pinch of:
garlic powder
onion powder
cayenne pepper

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 a red onion, chopped
1 cup of corn
1-2 avocados, sliced (or homemade guacamole, yum)
1 cup of cheese
1 cup of cilantro 
salsa of choice
hot sauce of choice 

Heat up the ground tofu with a little bit of oil in a pan. If it's not already very seasoned, add in cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and cayenne pepper to taste (fresh garlic and onions are good too). Heat on low for 10-15 minutes. While the tofu is cooking, heat the can of refried beans in a separate pot on low for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the meat and the beans are ready, get creative with your construction of Taco Crunch! 

Some people like to put the beans down first, then add the cheese, tofu, crunched Fritos, lettuce and toppings of choice. I like to crunch the Fritos on my plate first, then add the beans, tofu, cheese, lettuce and toppings. It's a fun meal because everyone has their own take on how to put it together. Enjoy! 

p.s. I had to watch this video "Who Moved My Cheese" the other day for work. It was a good reminder that not adapting to change is just a waste of time! If you struggle with it like I do, it might be a good use of 11 minutes of your time.
p.p.s. Cloth napkins c/o Dot & Army

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dear Sprout, {A Shell Swimsuit and the Sunset}

Dear Sprout,

I got us a new swimsuit. It has a big nautilus shell on it. 

We were up at your Nonny and Poppy's house laughing at this story about how they got in an argument at the market over Buy-One-Get-One-Free 'Killer Brownies' they were supposed to give up for lent when we all saw the sun falling fast. It was Friday the 13th of March 2015; a record breaking heatwave day. The wind was offshore in the kind of way where you can hear the train and the car horns much more clearly out on the water and smell what people are barbecuing too. 

It was going to be a beautiful sunset. I could tell even before the sun hit the low, lethargic clouds along the horizon line and I wanted to take you to it; to get us as close as we could be. Sometimes being in the ocean while the sun is going down makes you feel like a tiny part of that phenomenon. 

I only had the shell suit with me, so I grabbed our foam board and ran down to the water in it, wetsuit free for the first time in months. The ocean was lively, fresh and cold like a soda with ice and the wind blew water into my eyes while we were paddling for waves. We got two waves together as the sun dipped into the water, just like you and I were. Your dad shot these pictures.

I've been having so much fun riding waves with you, I think I'll be sad when you have to stay on the sand for a little while after you are born. The comfort of it comes like a good song on a busy day; a fleece blanket over goosebumps; a long ride on a cold wave as the sun goes to someone else. 

The next day we worked on your nursery some more. It was kind of one of those days where you wished people would stop by so you had an excuse to stop working, but it's getting closer. Your daddy is working hard to make you a new home when you get here, but I hope I will always be a home for you in some way.

me, your mom

+foam board}
p.s. we passed the second glucose test. thanks for all the positive thoughts! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Next Move

Today I have to take a three hour glucose/gestational diabetes test. I failed the one hour, but my mom said not to call it failing. I think it was the Multigrain Cheerios I had at my parent's house before the test; so maybe what I'm doing right now is called blaming, not failing. 

On Wednesday I was walking home from the beach and the neighborhood smelled like laundry. It was late in the day and the dust on the street was being kicked up ever so slightly by the passing cars. There are two houses I pass on my walk to the beach that are being completely remodeled. Something is different with each every time I go by. These renovation projects are why I always wear shoes on my walks. Sometimes the machines and tools putting the homes together sound angry. Scott and I used to sneak inside of one of the houses at night to see if we could watch the waves or look at the moon or check out the progress on the swimming pool. The other day there were two cars in the driveway and a naked statue next to the front door. I don't think we can call it our house anymore, although we didn't like the final colors they chose anyways.

I was kind of a mess after I found out the news about the glucose test. I called my dad crying and he helped me feel better by saying things like "Oh no!" and "That's awful" that ultimately conveyed I get it and I'm sorry. 

I remember the time he dropped me off for college summer school at Scott's vacant two bedroom apartment in Mission Beach. It was kind of like being left at camp after everyone had gone home or being dropped off at a school basketball game before your friends were there. Scott was up at his parent's place for the summer painting houses and entertaining cousins. His four other roommates were working bait farms or chasing swells or living with girlfriends next to civil war battle grounds on the East Coast and my roommate Stephanie was stuck in traffic. It was time for my dad to go, seeing that I was 20 years old and knew how to lock the door and cook scrambled eggs and rice and would ultimately be fine. But once he was gone, the empty two bedroom with the black carpet and note knifed into the wall that read "Gone to Mexico for waves and beer" suddenly seemed less funky and amusing, so I went surfing because the ocean is always familiar.

This Wednesday I did the same thing. Surfing is always the ultimate reset button for me. 

I'm still not happy about having to drink three sugar drinks for my second glucose test. Even just one makes you feel like an eleven year old stole your body on Halloween and ate a Pixie Stick at every house they said trick-or-treat at. When I was trying to explain the test to one of my surf coach kids yesterday I said "You have to drink this orange drink with a high concentration of sugar and then wait and see if your body processes it properly..." She observed that maybe the drink is kind of like when you combine all the sodas at a soda fountain and then add sugar packets to it. "Yeah, it probably is kinda like that" I said. 

I told my mom I would just pretend I was a hummingbird for the day sipping up all the sugar. After that, I'll have to decide what my next move is based on the results. It's kinda like how mother nature is making her next move into spring. And then more literally, there's my chess game with Scott. I'm the white pieces, Scott's the dark brown. If you have any tips for what my next move there should be, let me know! 

p.s. a spring playlist! The first and the last songs are my favorites, but the middle ones are good too. I hope you have a good weekend!