Archive for June, 2009

Posted in ¡que comida!, feeding, Maximo, Uncategorized on June 23, 2009 by gabrea


what’s on the menu this week?


Succotash Smash

1 cup Frozen Corn

1 cup Frozen Peas

1 cup Carrots* – peeled & cut into chunks

Steam carrots until tender.  Boil and drain corn and peas.  I read that pea and corn husks are indigestible to young babes, so instead of whizzing this up in the mini-cuis, I used my hand-crank baby-food grinder, which took a while longer since I had to do it (by hand) in three batches, but the final product had a nice slightly chunky texture.  This tastes like the freshest, purest, summer veggie dish – yum!

*for a tasty variation, try subbing garbanzo beans for the carrots

Chicken & Apples

3-4 Apples, peeled & cored

1 cup Chicken Breast – shredded/chopped

I never would have thought to make this combo until my friend Leslie was visiting and was feeding her son Gerber Chicken and Apples.  It’s super delicious, and also quick and easy to make.  Steam apples until tender.  Poach chicken and chop into chunks, or used canned chicken breast and rinse well to remove excess salt.  Blend it all up in the device of your choosing, and voila!  Sweet, savory goodness.



Hooray for First Fathers’ Day!

Posted in Gabbi, Maximo on June 22, 2009 by gabrea

fathersday_tequilaWhat could be more fun than another day dedicated to celebrating the awesomeness that is my Baby-Daddy, one Gabbi Villarrubia?  It’s almost like another birthday, and birthdays rule.  Our first Fathers’ Day was wonderful and full of love, and a great family day together.  Sadly, our plan to let Papi sleep in was foiled by the mild flooding of our house the night before, so we had to spend the morning sweeping an inch or two of water out of our casa.  Luckily, tile floors are made for this sort of thing, and nothing was really on the floor so there was no damage to speak of.  Whew!  After a morning of sweeping and skating across the wet floor in my wellies (Mexrivercafeican Curling, anyone?), we were off for a lovely, relaxing lunch at the River Cafe in Old Town Vallarta.  MMMmargaritas…  We have been on a healthy eating / no drinking kick in prep for our upcoming va-ca, so it was nice to have a little boozy splurge lunch, and refreshing to be in a restaurant where no one knew our name for a change.  Back in Sayulita, we spent the evening catching up with our great friends and awesome neighbors Tamra, Theo, and Talula, then attempted to watch a movie that I fell asleep to immediately (red wine + tequila = mombie).

Gift-wise, Big Daddy G scored a bottle of his fave tequila, and he & Maxxi got custom ¡Que Madre! t-shirts celebrating each others’ bad-ass-ness.  Papa’s has a picture of Baby, and says “¡Mi Hijo es lo Maximo!” (“My Son is the BEST!”).  Baby’s has a picture of Papa, and says “¡Mi Padre es lo Mas Padre!” (“My Dad is the COOLEST!”).   fathersday

All in all, a beautiful day, that only could have been better if our Dads were here celebrating with us too – we love you and miss you!!!   Happy Fathers’ Day to all the Daddies out there!


Que Padre

Posted in breastfeeding, Maximo, sleep, words on June 18, 2009 by gabrea


Before I was blessed with the most adorable and beautiful Son, I was blessed with the love of the most adoring and beautiful Man: my hot husband, my best friend, my soul mate, my lover, my everything — Gabbi Villarrubia.  We just celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary, and this summer will mark 9 years that we have been in love and in each others’ arms.  That’s a lot of time to get to know someone; to see them grow and change; watch them become the person they are meant to be, with the right love and partner by their side.  It’s a magical gift when you get to fall in love with a new side of your mate, and I am so in love with the Father that my Man has become.

I have always known that Gabbi would be a wonderful Father and Daddy.  How could he not, he who brims and gushes with love unlike any other you will ever meet?  But to see him with our Son, to see our Son light up at the site of him, this never fails to melt me.

There are times when Maximo’s intense attachment to Mama and my milk can feel challenging to a loving Daddy, bordering on rejection.  So it’s been key for Gabbi to create his own special rituals and routines with Maxxi, of which everyone’s favorite is bedtime.  Over the past month, in our efforts to separate the strong association Maximo had between nursing and falling asleep, Gabbi has become the official master of bedtime ceremonies in our home.  And mastered bedtime he has.  If I try to put Maximo to bed without nursing him, he arches his back and tugs at my shirt all through the Great Green Room.  But Gabbi hands him his blankee, reads him his night-night books, tucks him into his crib, and has him sleeping out of the palm of his hand in record time.  It is their special Baby/Daddy time, and surely a bright spot in both of their days.

This evening, after Maximo drifted off to dreamland with nary a peep, Gabbi came out of the room with a well of tears pooled in his eyes.  Tonight, during his bedtime story, Maxxi looked up at his Father, put a tiny hand on his cheek, and said, “Daddy.”  Then he said it again, and again.  And once more I melt.

Happy Fathers’ Day, Daddy!  Que Padre indeed.


Time on My Side

Posted in Uncategorized on June 16, 2009 by gabrea

I sometimes like to imagine what kind of parent I would be if we still lived in San Francisco and worked 60+ hours a week.  Not like, would I be a good Mother, but rather: what choices would I make differently, given the constraints as well as the opportunities of our particular lives there?  This mental exercise invariably leaves me grinning about how great my life is here in Mexico, where Gabbi & I both work from home and spend the majority of many of our days with our son, as a family.

One of the greatest gifts that Mexico has given me is time – time to do things slower, better, with more purpose.  Things I might have rushed through before, or skipped altogether, out of necessity or convenience – making food from scratch, grinding fresh coffee,  writing, reading, allowing myself to do nothing.  Of course, having a baby takes its due toll on free time, especially of the “doing nothing” variety.  But even with a wee one to tend, living here still affords me the time to make parenting choices I feel good about – choices that I might not have been willing or even interested in making were I still living in the City and working full-time, like: cloth-diapering, breastfeeding on demand, making baby food from scratch, working from home.  These choices all make so much sense to me here, and though they likely would there as well, would they be practical or possible to implement and maintain?

Take making baby food, for example.  No doubt there are plenty of full-time-job-having, city-dwelling Mommies out there that take on this task, but when I was working at EA, I rarely even made it home in time for dinner, so it’s hard to imagine devoting precious hours on a too-short weekend to puréeing and straining.  Luckily I now have the time (most of the time) to cook when I want, and I have fun making Maxxi’s meals.  I like knowing what’s going into my baby’s food, where and how it was prepared (with love of course!), and that it’s healthy and nutritious.  So far, Maximo is a wonderfully adventurous and voracious eater, and seems to delight in most new flavors that grace his palette.  I hear that kids start to get picky at around a year, when they begin to discover and exercise that ever-pesky free will.  For now, I’m enjoy making lots of different combos for my littlest foodie to gobble up indiscriminately, and hoping that exposing him to lots of great flavors early on will make him a better eater for life.

That, I think, is just one small example of time well spent, and I’m thankful everyday to be spending my time in Mexico, living the good life con mi familia.



Posted in ¡que comida!, feeding, Maximo on June 16, 2009 by gabrea


A look at what’s on Maximo’s plate this week, and how I made it:


Cheezy C’s

~2 cups Cauliflower – cut into small florets

~2 cups Carrots – peeled & cut into chunks

~1 cup Chicken Breast – shredded/chopped

~½ cup Cheese – grated


Steam cauliflower & carrots until tender.  Boil and shred or chop chicken breast.  Alternately (easy route!), use canned chicken breast but rinse well with water to remove excess salt.  Puree all ingredients (I use a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus) with cheese and enough milk to make a slightly chunky puree.   Super delicious – I can’t stop sneaking bites.



Posted in feeding, Maximo on June 8, 2009 by gabrea

Lately, I have been feeding my son from my mouth.  You know, birdy-style.  Born of practicality, what started as merely hands-free-technique has evolved into something more personal… our own sweet special little bonding moments.  When I take a bite of something – Maximo hanging out on my left hip where he can often be found – and he opens his little beak wide for a taste, it melts my heart.

birdy style

Yes, I know it’s a little weird, but it is also the most natural thing in the world.  Nursing, snuggling, sling-ing, birdy-feeding, even diapering – these are the fleeting moments of motherhood, the ones I know I will miss when they pass, and I treasure each sacred one.