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Leila Love

2014 October 1
by Saba

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“You willa willa dirty…Mommy not dirty. Mommy sweaty. You (Daddy) dirty…You needa take a shower! You willa sweaty! You (Mommy) not dirty. Daddy dirty.”

“Where’s my frozer? That’s where mango go!” (holding up a felt pineapple)

After playing catch with Daddy for about 10 or 15 minutes,“I need to sit down and relax.”

“I be right back Mommy. I’m get buh (her lovey).”

Leila: “I need red paint.” Papa: “You need red paint.” Leila: “Yes. Rojo.”

Referring to the green smoothie I just made. “Remember last time you spilt it? Over the…over the…over the…”

“I like to feel cozy in the bath!”

“I love babies. I love Target babies!”

“I love Daddy playing with me.”

As Daddy buckles Leila in, while Mommy gets into the front seat, “I don’t want to crash into Baba Joon’s car.”

“I want to go back to Daddy, I’m so excited to see Daddy!”

“Simon calls me La La. My name Ayah.”

“My bottom is dirty, and I got to clean it, sometimes.”

“That’s not a park one (outfit). This my swimsuit.”

“I a big girl. I like this candy!” (Referring to the hard candies we foolishly chose to eat in front of Leila.) “I like this chocolate. I not choke!” (Post-consumption of aforementioned candy.)

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Ten Years

2014 September 29
by Saba

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This past July marked the 10th anniversary of when we first met. We both tossed around the idea of doing something epic, but it passed with the simple gift of a world map to commemorate our travels.

This past Thursday marked the 10th anniversary of our first kiss and the beginning of our now decade-long romance. This past Thursday, I was in Bastrop, and Ben was in Houston. In spite of our schedules and ourselves we managed to bookend our anniversary with weekend celebrations. The Saturday before was a sushi dinner and Ira Glass at the Wortham Center thanks to a Mother’s Day gift from the grandparents. Then this past Saturday we managed to rope Leila into a last minute sleepover with the grandparents so Mama and Papa could celebrate 10 years with drinks and appetizers at Benjy’s, followed by the Manhattan Short Film Festival at the MFAH. We planned for more but by the beginning of the last film, whatever confluence of cold/sinus/allergies that had been plaguing me all week finally caught up with me, and I ended the evening over the toilet and spent the night on the couch with Harry and Sally.

Ten years. I feel like it deserves more, but I suppose there is nothing more authentic than an anniversary celebration that recognizes the “in sickness” side of the vows. A decade ago I think the thought of 10 years down the road was beyond my comprehension, but now it feels so small and normal and like we’re still very much at the beginning. On the drive to the restaurant, I asked Ben why he thought some relationships lasted and some didn’t. I told him the idea that a relationship was never right to begin with bothers me. Maybe it is the part of me that grieves the idea that anyone would live with a bad decision daily for such a prolonged amount of time. Or maybe I simply shirk at the possibility we can only have clarity in hindsight. Whatever the case, I wondered with Ben whether he thought that we knew that we would grow together, or if it was just plain luck. Then Ben said this. He said he thinks it comes down to decisions.

And I thought of Rwanda, and how this one choice he made to follow my heart brought us closer. And Ben said either changed him or made him more aware of who he really was. Decisions – these everyday and life decisions that honor your loved one without compromising yourself. And it made sense.

Menu Planning: Dinner (with enough for leftovers)

2014 September 22
by Saba

I find cooking something that is completely gone after the meal is over quite discouraging. Enter casseroles, crock pot meals and bowls. Prep once – eat twice, or more.

 

1. Paleo Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken or Roasted Chicken or maybe this way (probably all three)

*Use bones from chicken to make stock

Chicken

2. Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala (or might try this one or this one)

Chicken Thighs

Onion

Ginger

Crushed Tomatoes

Jalapeño

Heavy Cream

Cilantro

3. Paleo Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Chicken Thighs

Ginger

Raw Cashews

4. Chicken-Spinach Sour Cream Enchiladas (Made in Texas Cookbook)

Leftover Chicken

Onion

Mushrooms

Cheddar or Monterrey Jack Cheese

Tomato

Tortillas

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Sour Cream

Green Chiles

Note: Ben’s favorite meal, and what I usually do with leftover chicken.

5. Paleo Crockpot Chicken Pad Thai 

Chicken (Thighs or Breasts)

Zucchini

Carrot

Bean Sprouts (Optional)

Green Onions

Cashew (Optional)

Cilantro (Optional)

6. Italian Meatballs

Ground Beef

Sausage

Onion

Tomatoes, Crushed

7. Sausage in Peppers

Sausage

Bell Peppers

Cauliflower

Tomato Paste

Onion

Basil

8. Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Chicken Breast

Onion

Ginger

Orange

9. Paleo Friendly Honey Garlic Wings

Chicken Wings

10. Bacon-Gruyere Meatloaf

Beef

Onion

Bacon

Blue Cheese

Note: Another of Ben’s favorites. Also, I actually make this with blue cheese.

11. Paleo Slow Cooker Thai Beef 

Beef Stew Meat

Onion

Ginger

Tomato Paste

Thai Red Curry Paste

Limes

Broccoli

Carrots

Jicama

Cilantro

12. Bahn Mi Bowl

Carrots

Onion

Shrimp

Ginger

Green Onions

Cucumber

Jalapeños

Cilantro

Note: I make this one with shrimp instead of the meatballs. I toss cooked shrimp with soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, garlic and green onions. So stinking good and easy.

 

Refrigerator/Freezer Staples

Almond Milk

Yogurt (Full-fat, Plain)

Butter

Liquid Aminos

Organic Ketchup

Spinach

Chicken Stock (see above)

Nut Butters (Almond, Sun, Cashew, Peanut)

Fish Sauce

Eggs

Maple Syrup

Sesame Seeds

Minced Garlic

 

Pantry Staples

Olive Oil

Coconut Oil

Sesame Oil

Apple Cider Vinegar

Rice Wine Vinegar

Coconut Milk (Full Fat)

Almond Flour

Salt/Pepper

Coriander

Cumin

Garam Masala

Sugar

Cornstarch

Brown Rice

Red Pepper Flakes

Ginger

Cayenne

Italian Seasoning (homemade blend)

Basil

Oregano

Thyme

Honey

Paprika

Bread Crumbs (Regular & Panko)

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