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Improvising

Still no word from Instant Pot.

But life has to move on, so here’s Thursday’s breakfast.

You already know what this is.

Before that though, I did a work out. While the kids watched on (and participated a bit?).  Kyle was gone and V had a ROUGH night, so I brought her into the bed with me thinking that would help her sleep.  And hooray! It did.  Help HER.  Me?  not so much.  She took over the entire bed.  I was up all night trying to gingerly move her from her horizontal position across both pillows.  And then she got up to pee at 4 something.  And then get water at 4 something later.  And then get dolls at 5 something.  And next thing I know P is crawling into bed too.  And it’s not even 6 yet.  OOF.  Rough stuff I tell ya.

So I did what any reasonable sleep deprived person would do.  I grabbed a T25 dvd from the garage and put it on in the living room for a group fitness class.  They love it.  If nothing else I’m glad they have a healthy attitude about exercise.  They always see me smile after workouts and show off my muscles, and they love when I laugh or grimace through something especially hard.  But most of all, they love showing me that they can do the moves too and seeing my excited reaction.  🙂  Proud mama.

We have been out of Earth Balance for over a week and it’s really throwing our morning pancake routine for a loop.  Sun butter is the only consolation that’s tolerable, but they still want Earth Balance back.  Cow butter, ghee, and red palm oil all struck out.  Hard.

After feeding us all, I spent the morning on the phone coordinating OIT schedule changes.  After listening to P’s lungs that morning I realized there was no way they’d do up-dosing on Friday.  I could hear wheezing without a stethoscope, so that’s not a way to start the appointment.

He’s actually pretty close to fully healthy, but his lung sounds don’t reflect that, and that’s an important symptom for detecting a reaction while he’s getting OIT.

So, no OIT this week.  Or next week, since my parents aren’t free.  And now we are waiting for them to overnight us two week’s worth of doses.  Silver lining is…now we can stay at the downtown Christmas festivities without worrying about getting to the East Bay.  Kyle wasn’t going to be able to come so it was going to be just me driving at night and it’s a lot to do regardless, but being sleep deprived, and trying to keep them awake on the way, and then getting them bathed and in bed (all in the same room), coughing all night, blah…for them to potentially say he’s not well enough to undergo treatment…  It’s fine we are taking the week off.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  We will get there.

I think her favorite part of school is snack time.

Did I not warn you yesterday?  Salad samesies.

Now to contemplate dinner…

I didn’t have anything in the meal plan for this night so I wasn’t sure of what to do.  Since we had the downtown parade after P’s soccer my plan had been to eat dinner at the co-op as a treat in between soccer and the parade (the parade launches from the co-op parking lot).  But that was back when I was thinking we’d then leave straight after to go to my parents’ house for OIT on Friday.  New plan!  Eat dinner back at home after the parade and tree lighting.

It wouldn’t be a proper Thanksgiving without a soup made from leftovers, methinks.

This photo doesn’t do it justice AT ALL.  I let it hang out all evening until we got home on the late night (ok, 7).

These moments are my absolute favorite.

We walked through downtown with our candles, following the UC Davis marching band and a fire truck with a sleigh on top.  There were carolers behind us and then we ended in the center of town and listened to the Davis High School choir sing until the countdown to the tree lighting.  Hooray!  And then the UC Davis band(uh!) performed more songs which left P (and me) grinning from ear to ear.  Maybe next year we will stay out late enough to go see the Grinch playing at the Varsity theatre, but not yet.

Nothing like coming home to a cozy bowl of soup after an awesome time with friends.

The broth was UNREAL thanks to the home-made chicken stock and the mashed potatoes (to make it all thick and creamy like).

Although I think the real flavor punch came from the sage leaves I fried in oil before doing anything else.  After that it was carrots and celery to build a soup base (no onion on hand but that’s cool because fodmaps).  I seasoned generously with salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley, and then added the diced turkey.  Oh, and the rice and collards from the night before, because it was such a small amount and why not?

Portion number two had me sloshing around for the rest of the night.  P had multiple servings too.  It was a ridiculously good soup, especially for being improvised on the fly.

Now to figure out WTF to do with the kids on our suddenly wide open Friday????

Fire time.  Ready for season two of Stranger Things??

Support needed

Ok, let me just cut to the chase.  I have a support ticket out on my instant pot.  It’s broken.  F&^%, right?!?!?!  Blah.

I’ll let you know what’s up when I know more, but as of now, it’s got some issue with the pressure sensor (kinda important right?) and won’t do anything.

I added wild rice to it for dinner and plugged it in a it just started beeping at me.  I referenced the manual and then went online and that’s when I realized it was probably not coming back.  I could have cried right then and there.  But I had to hold it together and make dinner!

RIP IP  🙁

I ended up making it on the stove, no problem in a big sauté pan, which allowed me to add greens and serve it out of the same pan later that night.  By the way, this greens blend is back and I grabbed one as soon as I saw it on the shelves despite having no plans for it this week.  I’ve already used it twice.  It’s not organic, which is a bummer, but I am going to concede in this instance and lower my standards because the benefits of the collards has to outweigh the potential negatives from chemicals and pesticide sprays.  Right??

It is the perfect stew/soup green too because it’s hardy enough to not turn into mush when cooked, but still softens.  And collards and mustard greens are so good!

While I was attempting to file my support ticket and sort out dinner, they were doing this.

AGH!  Not that there’s ever a good time for your brand new expensive appliance to quit on you, but having two kids covered in sticky sugar asking for your help during the whole ordeal is far from ideal.  Mental test!!

It probably helped me stay calm, though, because had I been by myself I may have been cursing, but instead I was spreading icing on the roof tops and walls of this gingerbread house for optimal candy coated decorating.

She gave up after the roof was done, but he stuck it out until every side was properly covered.

It’s on the counter in the kitchen (next to me as I type this) and the smell is insane.  It’s like living in a bakery.  I feel like I’m high from the sugar just being in the vicinity.  I wonder how long I have to keep this thing?  I wonder if they’ll ask to eat it?

Anyway, I am all over the place with this post.

Kyle had a flight before the sun was up, so it was just me and kiddos in the morning.  The most exciting thing about feeding them lately is that they can peel their own cuties!  It’s slightly embarrassing how thrilling this is for me, but peeling citrus takes up more of my life than you’d think and I don’t even get the rewards of eating it.  Now they can do it on their own.

After dropping P off at school, V and I went to park the car somewhere downtown and go on a run.  I wanted a change of scenery and was thinking I’d pop into the co-op at the end.

Casual shopping trip NBD.  We didn’t end up buying anything though because I went looking for one specific thing.  It wasn’t a waste though since I at least got a long run in a different area of town.

I had breakfast back at home…Nourish bread with almond butter and himalayan pink salt from my new TJs salt sampler.

Once I’d showered, me and V set off to “adventure” together.  She is so freakin’ fast on her scooter now I have to jog to keep up.

We went around the block once and then ended up at the park (behind our house), but she mostly did laps around the park, rather than sliding or anything else.  We took a different route to get home and then she played in the back yard while I prepped lunch for both of them.

Annie’s FTW.

P picked this out as a “special treat” from WF after his last OIT appointment and I forgot about it for a week.  I added a bunch of frozen mixed veggies to bulk it up and between the two of them they finished the whole thing off in one sitting.

I’m still too nervous to try the real cheese (non vegan) version of mac n cheese with P, but it’s probably totally fine given how much dairy he eats without issues these days.  I just don’t know how to calculate the protein content in foods that have protein from other sources (ie wheat) to know how much actual milk dairy protein he’d be getting and that’s still an area of discomfort for me.  I feel like I’m getting better and better at it though, and over time, with enough experimentation, he will probably get close to truly “free eating” dairy.  Per the MD, I can basically up his dose (even higher than the 4 g of protein that is considered graduation / maintenance dosing) as much as I want as long as he tolerates it.  He eats 7 g (the amount in a string cheese) with regularity and has no problem, but that’s as high as we’ve gone in a single serving.  Cheeses are super variable in their protein content, so I am always looking things up and doing math in my head, and then erring on the side of caution out of habit.

My lunch was the lovely poppyseed salad I make 75% of the time, so I hardly feel like posting it, but there it is in all it’s repetitive glory.  Stay tuned for the same one again tomorrow!  😉

Ok, now I’m back to where I started this post.  Making dinner!

You’d think V was the one who lost her instant pot with how grumpy she was that afternoon.  I took a pic of myself holding her, while cooking, because she was so needy.

PSA: I am on a total butternut squash kick.  I probably will be until April, so get used to it.

After we had all gotten our stuff done in the kitchen (me with dinner, P with his gingerbread construction) we killed the last half an hour before Valley’s soccer practice by biking in the front yard.

As soon as we were back from soccer it was assembly time…

Voila!

How does this differ from the bowls I made two night’s before, you ask?  VERY slightly.  The salad from Monday was a cold salad with raw lettuce and didn’t have a grain.  This had wild rice that I sauteed with the greens.  Otherwise, they are basically the same.  I added dressing, pecans, squash, and fig goat chevre and WOW was it good.

There wasn’t enough goat cheese for them, so I added parmesan cheese to their bowls. Both of them LOVED it.  P inhaled this like nothing I’ve ever seen.  And asked for more.  As compared to Monday’s salad that he ate fine, but didn’t seem to stoked about.  He actually commented that he wanted this again.  I think it was the parmesan cheese, but I’m holding out that it was the whole grain + green hippie bowl combo that I finally sold him on.  😉

Bowl #2

All mixed up…mmmmm baby.

Dessert night!

Now excuse me while I wait on pins and needles to hear back from the instant pot peeps about my faulty pressure cooker.

Foreshadowing

Kyle had to leave early Tuesday morning so I decided to go to stroller strides rather than squeeze in some form of exercise with both kids before breakfast.

Which meant I had time to make pancakes for the whole week.

V and I played at the park and then we ran over to the library story time after stroller strides despite my feet being soaking wet (it’s that time of the year, I guess, when running and doing drills on grass leaves you a little soggy).  P was sad that he missed picking out his own library books, but was definitely happy not to miss another day of school.  He’s not entirely better, but hopefully he will be soon.

I had a pre-made TJs salad for lunch because I didn’t get them down for naps until so late I was staaaaaarving.

I added avo and then snacked on baby carrots and the rest of these Siete chips.

For dinner I decided to make a veggie and quinoa stir fry to serve with the leftover curry pork from last week.

First time making quinoa in the instant pot.

I set it for 8 minutes and the weirdest thing happened.  As soon as it got to pressure the valve started releasing steam.  Even though it was on the sealing setting. Hmmmm.   It stopped after a while but kinda left me confused.  In the end the quinoa turned out fine though so I just forgot about it.

**FORESHADOWING**

I fried the quinoa in ghee and then added tamari and a bunch of broccoli and cauliflower.  Then the kids woke up.

In the interest of expending energy over the next few cold months, I signed both kids up for gymnastics.  I’d been waiting for times that overlapped or at least matched up back to back for both of their age groups.  It took a while, but we finally sorted it out.  V is in a 3 year old class, so I was nervous she wouldn’t quite be ready (developmentally, not physically) but she did great.  It certainly helped that Pattycakes’ class was first, so she watched the whole time…getting the itch to get her own chance.  And she gets to wear her “camp outfit” so, you know, that helped.

Check out that strut.  Hands behind the back, following her coach like she’s a step away from the Olympic team.  Ha.

Last time I (re)used this broth I chipped off the massive fat chunk before I added it to the pork, but this time I just warmed it and let the fat melt in.  There wasn’t as much so I wanted to make sure I didn’t take away anything that would reduce the flavor.  Obvs I’m not fat phobic, but the first time I made it was with short ribs, which are really fatty, so you can strain off a decent amount without affecting the dish.  The pork, however, was a leaner cut.

Anyway, I served the pork over the quinoa, broccoli, and cauliflower.

The quinoa was great.  Too great, in fact, because we all finished it off and the kids wanted more but there wasn’t any.  Oops.  Sometimes it is so hard to estimate amounts.

Luckily we had plenty of pork still though, which we all had seconds of, and yet, there was STILL more leftover.

This curry is the gift that keeps on giving.

I had kombucha that night and went to bed feeling perfect.  Finally back on track.  🙂

More plants Monday

It’s detox mode over here.  I feel like the biggest cliche in that regard but you know what?  Don’t care.  My body is bloated and blah and in need of major plant based eats.  All the veggies please!  Of course I had to get to the store first and foremost, but I was committed to doing my best with what I had on Monday, no excuses.

NOURISH BREYAHHD.

The kids were too sick for school so we kept to ourselves.  I was super bummed because it meant I missed out on my MOPS moms group meetup and was stuck with snotty, barking, germy littles all day, but I need to get P healthy stat for OIT on Friday.  There was supposed to be a speaker on race and how to talk to young kids about race, which I was really eager to hear, so I told my friends to fill me in.  Does anyone else have good resources for this?

I gave the kids super foods all day to get their bodies’ immune systems in tip top fighting shape.  That smoothie above had almond milk, avocado, apples, kale and home-made nectarine chia preserves, plus this probiotic.

My lunch was salad made right in the bin with the rest of the baby kale and mixed greens that I bought for my Thanksgiving salad. Plus a champagne vinaigrette dressing (that I didn’t make very well), carrots, avocado, and smoked salmon.  It didn’t quite fill me up so I had a bit more salmon.  That did the trick.

V took the world’s shortest nap, so that wasn’t great, but at least it meant we could get to the grocery store and still have time to play in the yard that afternoon.  They were awesome helpers with the leaves that needed to be raked up…and there were a. lot.

New Trader Joe’s finds!

  1. Zucchini spirals (to add to their carrot spirals, riced cauli, riced broccoli, and other pasta replaced with veggie options)

2. Almond butter turmeric dressing (vegan and made with cold pressed lemon ginger juice) because it’s so easy for me to get obsessed with salad dressings and this one has major potential

3. 7 Salts of the Earth (now I won’t have to steal my mom’s Hawaiian Black Lava Salt)

Check out these sillies.  It goes without saying that they came up with these outfits on their own…

I made the same(ish) salad I made for Thanksgiving and the week before for dinner.

Apparently I’m just craving squash filled salads right now.  Kyle loves them too, but the kids aren’t quite as thrilled with this meal.

Mixed greens + roasted butternut squash + home-made balsamic vinaigrette + roasted pecans

Plus this FIG GOAT CHEESE LOG impulse buy because as soon as I saw it, I realized plain goat chevre would not do.  I nixed the dried cranberries I was going to put in as a result because the fig was plenty sweet.

I served this Acme bread (leftover from Thanksgiving and gifted to me by my parents) on the side for everyone else.  It smelled so good, but I was still in detox mode, so no wheat for moi.

P tried the goat cheese but didn’t like it.  The rest of us, however, were big fans.  I don’t think V has ever met a cheese she doesn’t like.  She is her dada’s daughter for sure.  And his future ice cream date.

I wasn’t planning on having dessert, but I was hungry later that night and decided to have a small something because I’d actually had two days without dessert.

I unearthed these from my chocolate stash (you can’t tell but there are two stuck together back to back).  They were from my SF getaway with P and tasted like those Samoa / Caramel D’Light girl scout cookies.  That coconut, chocolate, caramel combo is unbeatable.  The best part of all is that I stopped after this portion was gone and felt satisfied.

On to the rest of the week!

Off to Mendocino

We got up bright and early (again! yay!!) thanks to the awkward sleeping arrangements at my parents’ house and my kids’ colds.  But that meant I had time to work out before saying bye to the littles and setting off to Mendocino with my main squeeze.  🙂

Starbucks in hand and whatever music we wanted…wooohoooo.

On the way up we saw quite a bit of devastation in Sonoma county, but not as much as I know there is in total.

First stop was in Geyserville at the Geyserville Grille for brunch (we had a reservation and me and my sisters all arrived within 5 minutes of each other even though we didn’t even caravan!). I got the eggs benedict and crushed the whole plate.  Oof.  Probably should not have licked the plate clean, because I had a long day ahead of me.  Why do I do this to myself???

Barely an hour later we stopped at Roederer Estate for some sparkling wine.   We hadn’t planned on going there, but we were ahead of schedule (we had a 1 pm reservation at Phillips Hill next door) so why not?!

We had gotten a few recommendations from a wine maker from the Anderson Valley area so we had plenty of options, and bubbles sounded great after a big breakfast.

Beautiful.

Sisters pic!  Happy Birthday Laura!

Once we hit the bottom of the bottle we hightailed it over to Phillips Hill.

Check us out looking all kidless and stuff.

I don’t know where the bobsled pics are from this tasting, but it’s probably for the best that they stay off the internet.

I liked several of the wines we tasted here, especially the Tempranillo.

Our last, and definitely not least, appointment was at Goldeneye.

All the more reason to drink!

My sister and her husband are Goldeneye club members, but had never been to the winery (since it’s pretty remote in the Anderson Valley), which is kinda what prompted this whole trip and location choice.

They are known for their pinot noirs, which is one of my favorite wines so I felt glad that I was drinking some awesome stuff.  I don’t consider myself a wine snob by any stretch but after my girls’ wine trip to Amador over the summer I realized I have a specific palate.  Goldeneyes wines were SO GOOD.  Even things I don’t usually like, like Chardonnay, were super refreshing and drinkable.

The scenery at Goldeneye is gorgeous.  We lucked out that the weather was as perfect of a Fall day as you could want, sunny, clear, and a crisp 70 degrees.

So we sat outside soaking up the day.

They gave us some nibbles, too.

Group pic.

We wanted to get to our hotel in time for the sunset, so we headed off around 4ish and braved the very windy roads to the Heritage House.  FYI, Kyle was sober and driving this whole time, just in case you were wondering.  He and I split tastings but he really had next to nothing.  We are both very serious about drinking and driving.

The resort was overlooking the ocean and super picturesque.   Their rooms were all along the coast, but my sister’s view was definitely the best.

It was starting to get stormy in the distance, but no rain for us yet (it was scheduled to hit hard that night and continue all through the next day though).

 

We reconvened at the hotel bar and I made some bad decisions and switched to hard alcohol.  On the left is my lemon drop and on the right is my French 75.  It’s hard to look at these photos now because of how TERRIBLE I felt the next day.

We hung out for a couple of hours at the bar until our dinner reservation.  We had done a bunch of research, naturally, and the hotel’s restaurant was supposed to be pretty top notch, so that was one of the main reasons we stayed there and made reservations that night.   Unfortunately their produce truck never came that day and as a result they were serving the BAR MENU.  For dinner.  We were all totally heart broken because the bar menu was basically 4 options, including things like quesadillas.   Considering half of us are intolerant of dairy this was a big deal.  We tried to stay upbeat, but there were no ubers around at all (the perks and pitfalls of being so remote) and we were all too drunk to drive, so we were stuck.

Burgers all around?  One of my sisters doesn’t eat red meat, so she asked to add chicken to a meh salad and made do with that, but I’m being nice when I tell you it was a disappointment.  I took the bun off my burger to make it gf and demolished the fries first and foremost, but the pinot noir was probably the high point of the meal.

But really, I should have stopped drinking LONGGGGG before that.  Because I went to bed with the spins and you all know how that ends…

I wish we could have had more time to take advantage of the hotel and all it’s luxe amenities.  It’s hard to be bummed about jetting off so early the next morning when we were going to something as fun as the Niners game, but to be real, I wanted to sleep in and get room service and just chill.  Not in the cards though.  Instead, I woke up with the worst hangover I’ve ever had in the past decade (not saying much, but it was really bad) and we then got to drive FOUR+ HOURS (remember those remote winding roads?) in the pouring rain to Levi’s Stadium.  In holiday traffic.  While trying not to puke.  Full disclosure, Kyle was doing all the driving.  I was horizontal in the passenger seat praying for the end of my headache, stomach ache, and nausea…and cursing my stupidity at the same time.  Seriously.  Elise.  WTF.  But enough of that.  Sunday was alright once I regained consciousness – at around 3 pm.

First and only (!!) meal of the day…pulled pork nachos without the cheese and coleslaw on top.

After the game, we drove BACK to the East Bay to get the kids at my parents’ house.  Then we drove back to Davis.  I think we covered half of California in one day and I’m not exaggerating.  That amount of driving should get your to San Diego at least!  Oof.  Not the best way to start off the week but it’s pretty lame to complain (the way I am) about doing too many fun things.  After the kids were in bed, I started a ton of laundry, took a long shower, and had a kombucha.  That alone almost made life normal again.  THANK GOODNESS my parents had the kids all day and fed them dinner before we drove home!  Gave me a fighting chance come Monday morning.