For the past 6 days Kyle and I have been in the East Bay. It’s incredible having P in my hometown – and very cool/weird/surreal taking him to all the places I grew up around. He’s also gotten to meet some of my bestest friends.
But I’ll back up to the trip to get here…because we were slightly apprehensive knowing we had a 6+ hour drive with a baby. We’ve conquered hour long walks no problem. Short outings are a breeze. But the I-5 is a whole other ball game – there are 35 mile stretches without exits! Definitely a new experience.
The day before was Kyle’s birthday, and as I mentioned we got Veggie Grill take out. I didn’t want to stray from my usual order (the kale salad with blackened tempeh), but I was also in the mood for something slightly different. So I compromised by ordering the same salad with the creamy ranch dressing instead.
Such a good call! And since I got two of them I saved the extra for later (wait for it ahead).
While working on the birthday cake (I promise I’m going to post the recipe) I was also packing food for the road trip.
Hours in the car means lots of snacks, so in addition to the above, there were tons of little bites. Like hummus, nuts, trail mix, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Clif bars, apples, and I don’t know what else.
Those onion skinny chips were an Expo West freebie. They were too onion-y for me but Kyle liked them fine – not very substantial on their own, but dipped in hummus they get the job done.
My breakfast was oats with nutritional yeast and fried egg (I microwaved it in a bowl sprayed with nonstick for 45 seconds). Kyle had a breakfast burrito.
My lunch was fridge hodge-podge that needed to be used up – brown rice, peas, sweet potatoes, nutritional yeast and the extra Veggie Grill ranch dressing. Yums! Kyle had a PB&J.
P did so well – he actually slept for 3+ hour stretches on the drive – so we only had to stop once (!!!). It was my first public restroom diaper change and it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. Afterwards I nursed in the car and then we were off again. Kyle and I alternated driving shifts while the other person stayed int he back seat with P (and operated as snack dispenser as well). Fingers crossed that the ride back down the I-5 goes just as well.
We were approaching hour 4 without eating by the time we arrived at my parents’ house so I immediately breast fed P and then gave him over to
my mom grandma.
My parents borrowed a pack n play and vibrating seat (above) from their friends (also grandparents) so P was right at home.
Dieden family grapes are in this vino.
Dinner was salmon, sweet potatoes, and a salad.
The salad had spinach, strawberries, pecans and Annie’s balsamic vinaigrette.
My mom marinated the salmon with a delicious rub (that was doubled due to the insane amount of fish she got).
Salmon with Paprika/Cinnamon Rub [yield 8 servings]
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp Saigon cinnamon
- 1 tbsp grated orange peel (+ more to taste)
- 1 tbsp thyme
- ½ tbsp sea salt
Mix marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place salmon in large glass dish,
add marinade, and turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
Combine spice rub ingredients in small bowl. Remove salmon from
marinade and place in greased foil-lined baking pan. Discard any remaining
marinade. Rub top of salmon evenly with spice mixture.
Roast salmon in preheated 400° F oven for 15-20 minutes (or longer
depending on thickness of salmon), until fish flakes easily with a fork. Watch to
make sure coating doesn’t burn – if getting too dark, cover loosely with foil.
I only had half the sweet potato with Earth Balance (because they were ginormous!) and saved the second half for later.
As per our routine, I headed to bed at 9 and left Kyle with P for the few hours while I got some shut eye. Ummm…yeah…that didn’t really work out…unfortunately all that sleeping P did en route backfired and he was up all night. Good thing he’s adorable.
The next morning Kyle headed off to several meetings all over the Bay Area (SF x2, Belmont, & San Jose), so my mom and I had P to ourselves for the day.
I watched basketball (love March Madness) made Dandy tea and then my girlfriend Lauren came over to meet Patty-cakes.
I made breakfast while she played with my little monkey and then we caught up on life.
This leftover half of a baked potato was scavenged from the depths of my parents’ fridge. Ordinarily it’s sooooo packed I swear they don’t even know what’s in there, but they just got back from a few weeks in Thailand so it’s not too chaotic inside.
I packed it with Earth Balance and fried an egg and was a happy camper.
Later on my sister came over. She hasn’t seen P since he was in the NICU so this was a big deal. Unfortunately she was just barely getting over a cold so she waited to hold him (knowing we were going to be in town for several days).
We ate lunch and hung out while watching basketball. I wanted to hear all about her visit to Australia and Thailand.
Lunch was leftover salad from the previous night (enhanced with extra spinach and carrots) topped with a HUGE portion of salmon. I haven’t taken my DHA in a few days because of all the fish I’m eating on this trip home.
I had Crunchmaster (GF) crackers on the side. I love these things, but they are crazy addictive. I inevitably put them away and then go get them again and have “a few more” multiple times a day.
We contemplated going for a hike with the dogs after lunch but P isn’t quite big enough for the Baby Bjorn yet. Also, I’m being overly cautious in the introduction of my parents’ dogs to P.
While they’re super friendly dogs, they’re still animals and they aren’t my pets, so I’m not sure how it will all play out.
We ended up going on a walk with the stroller (to the post office) instead. I had to mail back some nursing tanks that didn’t fit. I hate online shopping for that reason, but getting to the store is kinda difficult still.
Right after I got back from the walk, my second family came over (sorry for the icky blurry iPhone photo). I’m the fifth daughter in their family and I call their mom my second mom, so naturally P is like their nephew.
For dinner we got delivery from Patxi’s.
Okay, so you all probably know how much I LOVE Patxi’s. However, this was a rather disappointing meal experience.
My sister and I split a daiya pizza with spinach and tomatoes on a thin crust. Basically the same order I get every time.
This is now their thin crust??? If you look at previous links to Patxi’s pizzas on my blog (also with thin crust orders) and compare it to this one, you’ll see there’s been a serious decline in the quality.
My mom’s looked even more pathetic.
If this is thin, what’s extra thin??? Also, her pizza was supposed to have red onions, mushrooms, spinach and roasted chicken. Do you see any of that?
We were so disappointed we actually called the restaurant back to discuss the issue. They were very nice and offered to send a re-do of our order out immediately. So at least they have good customer service.
Mine looked the same, but like I said, I didn’t really have that big of an issue with it. I was annoyed by the fact that a thin crust is no longer what it used to be, but aside from that, the pizza tasted good.
My mom’s pizza was a huge improvement though (in that she actually had toppings this time!).
Sadly, Patxi’s was kinda ruined for me. I don’t like pan pizza/Chicago style, and their thin crust is supposed to be like a regular crust, so I don’t know if I’ll go back because there’s not an in-between crust option that I like.
Too bad because they have daiya cheese and vegan dough and I like supporting that.
P slept MUCH better this night (back on schedule!) and we got to snuggle in bed the next morning (we sent the photo below to Kyle since he was away for business stuff again).
I got him to rest semi-soundly while I showered (and watched him in the pack n play from the bathroom). It’s always exciting when I learn to do new things solo and/or one-handed.
Then made tea and breakfast. These sweet potato pancakes were perrrfect so I’ll post the recipe later. They only had two ingredients (plus salt) and somehow turned out amazing. I topped with with Earth Balance of course.
Lunch was the same salad as the previous day’s with even more salmon and the rest of the Crunchmaster crackers. Four servings my a$$.
After lunch my mom went to a cooking class so I went on a walk with P. We went all over my home-town and I showed him the local spots that I grew up frequenting. It’s a dream to be able to do this, and I can’t wait til he’s old enough to actually know what I’m talking about (or stay awake).
Elaine, Dave & Cooper came over to hang out in the early afternoon. Lauren joined us too (how could you not want to hang with these adorable babes!?). And after my sister got off work she came over, too.
She was so excited because she finally got to hold him.
For dinner Kyle and I cooked. My mom did all the grocery shopping with the list I gave her and even brought me home a few Kombuchas.
We made these recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook.
Instead of chicken, I used tempeh (3 blocks of Lightlife’s flax tempeh) for the four of us.
We made broccoli too, but I didn’t have any.
The meal was delicious. I thought the kale fried rice was awesome and everyone loved the tempeh (even my mom and sister who aren’t seasoned tempeh eaters like Kyle and I). Definitely recommend.
After dinner we watched Cal win and UCLA lose. Meh. My bracket isn’t doing so hot.
To be continued…