November 30, 2012

Mexico City: Day Tres

I have to start this one off with praise. Thank You, Father, for such a blessed day. Thank You for baby's 5 hour stretch of sleep last night, plus two hours, plus three hours. Thank You for grandpa Carrillo, who willingly put Santi to sleep, singing hymns to You and resting our little peanut peacefully. Thank You for the food You have provided to this family, for the money You bless them with to buy fresh produce that strengthen us. Thank You for such hard working parents, our mami Carrillo who sweated all day in the kitchen, then rocked our 12 week old to sleep for many daytime naps. Thank You for this family, for Your love poured out onto them, for their hospitality, for this home. Thank You for Your Word, how much it encourages me when I am down, and strengthens me when I am weak, as well as fills me when I am joyful.


Thank You for the friends You have placed in my life with a purpose. Thank YOU for Your constant presence, Your unconditional love, Your forgiveness, Your power over sin, the sacrifice of Your only Son, Jesus Christ, who died so that I might live, the life You have given me.

Grandpa Carrillo rocking babe to sleep last night!

Grandma Carrillo, son, and grandson

Little sprout hat courtesy of his pediatrician :)

Naptime on grandma's bed, he loves this naptime on bed treatment! Especially with a fluffy pillow!

The feeder in action!

Cris, Eduardo's brother, Pablo's, girlfriend loves him to bits, and he loves staring at his uncle Carlos!

Cris, Uncle Pablo and babe

fresh coconut meat! with lime juice and chili powder ay ay ayyy!

magical tasting mole made by mama Isabel, with chicken, black beans and rice.

plant-loaded plate for me! half a head of purple romaine, avocado, tomato, rice, mole sauce, black beans

So much delicious food in my belly.

I love the touch of sesame seeds on top, it looks so professional! (side note: she used to run a kitchen here in their home and served the public, their own little restaurant if you will, so she is pretty much a pro!)

happy papa with his boy!

Nap number 300!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 
James 1:17

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  
Philippians 4:6

May he grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans! 

Psalm 20:4

November 29, 2012

Mexico City: Day DOS

After a night of 8,000 feedings, wrapping a baby boy in a burrito 3 million times and a bazillion diaper changes, we come to Wednesday. I started the day slowly and care-free, and now that I think of it I should have opened up God's Word for some encouragement. Mami Carrillo left home early to buy us loads of fruit, and then picked up some freshly squeezed juices.

Beet and carrot, as well as beet/carrot/orange. Both were pretty delicious! She then blended up a crazy tasty milk-like drink, that she convincingly told me boosts milk supply for nursing mommies, that consisted of almonds, amaranth, papaya, sesame seeds and honey. She says it normally contains walnuts and/or pecans, and an apple. I asked her for a honey-free version next time, maybe an extra apple for sweetness, and she agreed.

Later, lunchtime: sautéed cactus, a Mexican favorite if mine, with pinto beans, avocado and tomato plus corn tortillas. Lots if feedings and diaper changes went down, as well. Leftover pozole for the rest of the group.

Gma Carrillo had lots of baby Santi time, they played and talked and then he fell asleep in her arms. She place him on a soft, squishy pillow and he slept like a rock! Even with Spanish TV on in the background, a loud-ish gameshow with bible trivia going down, he was happy to take a daytime nap. She even took a nap by his side for a while, which was so sweet! I wish I had a photo of it, but it's on uncle Pablo's camera, so baby by himself with have to suffice. It was such a precious sight, true peace went down in that room, and he was asleep for over 1.5 sweet hours. We left for movie night while he was asleep, but showing signs of waking up. I had a feeling that he wasn't going to enjoy the mere 6oz of milk we left him for the next 3+ hours....

So, we attempted movie night. First, I tried pumping. For a short-ish night out I like to have at least 2 full bottles (5+ oz each) and a few frozen back ups. Problem is, there is no freezer here and Santi had been eating often, every 45 minutes to an hour and a half, so I wasn't super full of milk. After 20 minutes, I was only able to pump 6oz. That made me nervous. I was trying to convince ma/Edu that it wasn't going to be enough, that I should just stay home, but alas... I left.

I was nervous as we drove away, Eduardo held my hand to comfort me. I'm such a goofy mama, but I couldn't help it, I knew that he was going to need more milk and he wasn't going to have it on hand. I had a very strong feeling that Isa was going to need us to come home early to feed the chubby buddy. The first time we left babe with my folks for a dinner night I was a wreck. He was a little over one month old, and even though I left them with plenty of pumped milk, all I could imagine was chaos. Everything ended up being completely fine, he ate well, slept, fussed but was calmed by his gpas, but like I mentioned - he had lots of milk ready for him! Anyhow, Edu decided to call Isa about 20 minutes into the movie (007 - I didn't even know they had made another one!) and sure enough, he had woken shortly after we left, famished like madness looking for milk, had a great diaper change (poo poo and urine everywhere!) and was fussing for more foods. We ended up leaving, just Edu and I, but were followed by Eduardo's brother, Carlos, who felt more comfortable driving us both home since he knew the roads and driving better (even though Edu was convinced he would be fine driving us alone).

Once home, I found mr.Santi being distracted by his amazing gma Carrillo, and I sat down to feed him. He ate for a long, great time, sheesh that kid loves eating! Can you tell? "hey, what's up, I'm like 10 days old but I weigh 30 pounds already, woohoo!" (exaggeration - he's 12 weeks old and under 16 pounds) and theeeeennn.... the brothers left for things, I chatted with my mami Carrillo, we had a fun visitor, Santi played with his favorite grandma in Mexico City, we ate a bunch of fruit, and prayed for a lovely night of rich, wonderful sleep.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

So thankful for God's promises to His children, so thankful for the hope He fills me with, for the family He has blessed us with, for the life He has given me through His Son, Jesus Christ. I don't need to worry about the future, as rough as it may seem in my sight. He sees the bigger picture, I have no idea what He has in store for me, so why have I been feeling so anxious? Why am I allowing the unknown to terrify me, when He, Knower of all and planner of all things, has it set in stone for me? Thank You, Lord, for Your precious Word. Thank You, for your unconditional love. Thank You for being Greater than my fears and anxieties. 

November 28, 2012

Mexico City: Day UNO

I have never called my mom upon arriving to Mexico, just to hear her voice and tell her about the flight. I have never had to hold back tears as she picked up the phone, realizing how much I wish she were here with me.
On the truck ride to the airport in all his, "heyyyy it's 4:00am and I'm wide awake!" glory.

I have always been excited for our annual visit to Mexico. We are incredibly blessed to be able to fly down here and spend time with Eduardo's family. I can't imagine not seeing my family but once a year for less than two weeks. But something felt so different this time. With Santi, all I could think about was how much I don't like flying, how much I wanted to have his family meet him but didn't want to travel there, I much preferred the idea of appearing there magically. Why was I so fearful? What did I really feel anxious about? Why wasn't I trusting in God fully and sharing that with others? All I found myself doing, instead of praising The Lord for this blessing, was telling people how much I was not looking forward to the flight, making it sound like I was hardly excited for the trip at all.

Now we are here, and I feel a strange sadness inside of me. Even though the flights were stress-free, checking in 2 large bags and a carseat, while lugging around a laptop bag, camera bag, diaper bag and carry-on suitcase, was so much less chaotic than we had imagined. We had a great adventure twice in the airplane restroom that consisted of diaper changes, diaper blow outs, two changes of baby pants, and potty breaks for ma and pa. I tried to feed him during both take off and landing, which his pediatrician recommended to prevent baby ear pain, but he slept through both landings so I didn't force it.

Honestly, the biggest flying tip I can give is to feed baby every time they fuss, make sure their diaper is clean, and get a window seat. The noise on the flight put him into a deep sleep most of the time, which was such a blessing! He gave into a few thirty minute naps and one full hour long nap in my arms. Side note: We checked in the carseat free of charge since we didn't purchase a third seat on the flights for him, and for babies under 2 it isn't required for them to be buckled in to their own seat. The passengers were kind, we didn't receive any angry stares when Santi fussed for a nap or a meal, and praise God for no turbulence! I should be thanking my Father instead of swimming in my sadness.

Seeing his uncles Carlos and Pablo, Eduardo's brothers, was such a joy. They have fallen hard and good for their first nephew, causing a mini-fight over who got to hold him first in the airport. Once a million lovely hugs were exchanged, we took the 40 minute drive home to see Santi's abuelos (grandparents)! This was such a beautiful, unforgettable moment. We pulled into the house and I could already see tears in gma Isabel's eyes, while gpa Humberto was smiling from ear to ear. This is it, what we have all been waiting for - it's really happening! I'm pretty sure we were all flying, not a care in the world, only pure, genuine joy. We handed Santi off to Eduardo's dad first, then his mom - she squeezed him so tight and long, as the tears ran down her cheeks, "mi bebé, mi bebé," she said to him. It really could not have been more special than that.

Isabel and Pablo's girlfriend, Cris, made us pozole (traditional red chili pepper stew with pork and hominy) and kindly set aside a veggie-loaded, animal-free version for me. I had this bowl times two, the second one loaded with twice as much romaine on top. She also packed us fruit for the drive from the airport to the house, which felt amazing on my tummy since we hadn't had anything but bananas and dried figs since our early 3:30am breakfast. It's amazing how fantastic food tastes on a very empty stomach, and the fatigue that two flights cause the body to feel. After dinner we chatted with family and a long-time neighbor of theirs, then I gave my parents a call.

This is when I started feeling blue. I had a heavy headache from not eating or drinking enough throughout the day, and I was really sleepy. Edu's papa held Santi and bounced him to sleep at his normal fussy hour of 5-6 p.m. and the Carrillo brothers were catching up on iPad, Macbook, fancy cameras and all-things-electronic chit chat. I don't know what it was that made me feel so far from home. My mom's voice on the other side of the phone filled me with a strange nostalgia, as if I hadn't seen my parents in years. Could it be because I have seen her daily for the past 11+ weeks of Santiago's life? Does becoming a mom myself make me feel more dependent of my own mom's care and company? Why is it that, as I held Santi that night and fed him, tears uncontrollably took over my eyes, as if he is all I have from home?

I'm telling you, this was a completely new experience for me. Mexico is my favorite place on earth, more than Disneyland (or the real Disneyland that I call Ikea), more than my home itself. Or is it? It has been since my sophomore year in high school, my first mission trip with the church's youth group, where I truly felt God tugged on my heart and filled me with a love for this Southern country. I used to count down the days until the trip, wish I could live here and never leave, squeal at the sight of the first Spanish word I saw painted on a local shop.

It was such a weird feeling arriving here with a heavy heart. I really think it has to do with my rocky emotional state in general, not because Mexico is any different. On Monday I was struggling to hold back tears all day. My biggest mistake was not giving my feelings to God right when the morning came. I waited until the drive home from physical therapy that night to open up to my loving King, while He was ready and willing to lift the load for me the moment I felt it on my shoulders.

What am I holding in? Maternity leave is coming to a close, and I couldn't be more unready. It has been such a blessing being a full-time mommy. Even on the hard days when all I want is a friend or family member over at the house, someone to talk to and share baby Santi with. It breaks my heart that I can't be there for him once January comes around, that responsibility is in my hands and I have to be a working mommy. Although we have been heard by God, and He has answered our prayers for Edu's (almost) sister-in-law to move up here and watch Santiago full time, all I feel is envy. She is going to live the life I only pray I could live: at home with this precious baby boy, teaching him all the sights and sounds of this world, taking care of him, singing to him and playing as he grows - Monday through Friday. Hear me out , we wouldn't have it any other way when it comes to who is with him while I work, since our immediate family members aren't an option, but goodness me... This is so. hard.

Anyhow, that combined with mommy guilt (not pumping on one side every time I give him the other side in order to fill the freezer, bring nervous about Santi having enough pumped milk each day I work, working enough hours on the computer to bring home an O.K. check twice a month, cooking delicious meals that satisfy my hubs, blogging about baby on a daily basis, sharing vegan recipes with the world each time I make something new, organizing Santi's videos from birth to two months for gift ideas, making a pelvic floor repairing movie to share with mommies everywhere, and Christmas gift planning) is probably the real reason I am so emotionally unstable. Or shoot son, maybe I already have a second baby in the oven (ha ha, I only joke)!

Anyhow. Day one. Followed by a challenging night of baby not able to sleep (3 hrs, followed by short 30 to 60 minute naps alllll night, then a glorious 2 hour stretch from 8-10am to give mama and baby strength for the day, a big gift from God as I see it!) and now, hopes for a beautiful day #2. Let's do Mexico the right way, shall we? On good sleep, being well fed, and more focused on the blessings that God pours out onto us!

November 20, 2012

Whatcha Been Eating?

Since I haven't been posting daily eats much this week, I decided to empty the camera of food snapshots to give you a little idea of what a plant-based way of eating looks like. At least, this is what it has been looking like lately. It will be different tomorrow, I'm sure of it!

PS: Cutie alert.

lentil burgers (brown rice, lentils, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, quinoa flour) + sprouted ezekiel bun, mashed avocado, mustard, cabbage leaf, sweet potato fries baked in coconut oil, ketchup.

bell pepper, zucchini, tomato sauteed with chili powder, salt, pepper, paprika

broccoli, bell pepper cooked in water with nutritional yeast, paprika, italian seasoning + cauliflower crust (too lazy to make it a pizza, ate as a 'bread' on the side, delish!) made with sprouted buckwheat, italian seasoning, coconut oil + lentils cooked in curry powder, paprika, chili powder + salt.

whole wheat lasagna noodles + tofu ricotta (tofu, italian seasoning, lemon juice, garlic, onion) + homemade sauce (Whole Food's brand organic tomato puree, fresh basil, dash of salt, italian seasoning, garlic powder) + nutritional yeast + zucchini

pozole from Edu's work! google it, it's superb. sans meat and still loaded with chili flavors!

papas con rajas - potatoes and poblano chili strips. poblano chili was seared, then partially pealed (as you can see, not a whole lot of luck) then cut into strips - potatoes were soaked in water for an hour (to break down starches, they bake quicker and crispier!) then coated with coconut oil and baked. no seasoning needed, friends!

kale, lemon, beets, orange, ice, water, banana

potatoes, rosemary, garlic powder, coconut oil

apple, kiwi, fig jam, hemp seeds

homemade whole wheat crust, sauce, nutritional yeast, sprouted tofu, italian seasoning, bell pepper, pineapple, zucchini, serrano chili peppers

frozen banana, unsweeteed cocoa powder, carob powder, prunes, ice = blend. topped with hemp hearts, kamut puffs, muesli and walnuts.

(blurry) quinoa cooked in chili powder and paprika + bell pepper, serrano chili, zucchini and green cabbage sauteed with more paprika and chili powder (addiction?!) topped with avocado

crust: almonds, hemp seeds, dates, unsweetened extra dark cocoa powder. middle: pumpkin puree, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, hint of ginger (all powdered) with a little water. top: pumpkin puree, unsweetened extra dark cocoa powder, carob, dates.

a pumpkin pie slice (see above) with oats, coconut, raisins and almond milk. perfect breakfast!

waffles (quinoa flour, kamut puffs, oats, cinnamon, baking soda/powder, applesauce, almond milk) + banana + almond butter + coconut + frozen cherries

pineapple, orange, banana, ice, water!

There you have it. Vegans don't starve to death, don't need to eat tofu every day, and aren't protein deficient. Unless you're eating just iceberg lettuce and carrots. Then, you might just have a few issues, and your doctor may tell you that your blood test results are disappointing. Eat beans, eat many greens, eat in abundance. Plus, Santiago will get mad at you if you tell him that baby's cannot thrive in the womb or live off of breast milk with a mommy who eats pure plants.

And we don't want to make him mad, do we?