Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Gazpacho, traffic and naps

We had some of the Mister's* Mike's family here, visiting from out West.  His brother, sister-in-law and her 14 yr. old daughter.  They stayed with us for 4 nights.  It was extremely hot and humid while they were visiting.  We don't have AC in our apartment so we gave them fans and tried to just deal with it.  We went to the beach, ate lots of good food, played with the baby,(it was their first visit with baby E.) and went on a tour of downtown New Haven and Yale.  I hadn't visited Yale or the Mike's workplace since we've been here so it was nice for me to go on the tour, too.  It makes me feel more at home here, after walking the campus and parts of downtown I've only driven past.  Baby E. stood all by herself during their visit which was exciting.

Baby E. has been having napping issues so the whole time the family was visiting I was working on getting her to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time.  She gets to the 30 minute mark and her eyes snap open.  Within seconds she's up on all fours and crying.  The preceding weeks have been stressful because there wasn't even enough time to get laundry done or much of anything else during her short naps.  I searched the web and found a technique that seems to be working.  Basically, the idea is that babies have 30 minute sleep cycles.  Adults do too but have learned how to fall back to sleep or go right into another, deeper sleep without waking.  Babies wake and can't fall back to sleep on their own.  I go into her room at around the 20-25 minute mark and wait for her to stir.  When she does, I put my hand on her back gently but firmly, until she settles down and falls asleep again.  After making sure she's really asleep I leave the room.  She generally sleeps for another 30 minutes.  She's so much happier after an hour nap vs. a half hour nap.  So am I!  I managed to keep E. on her nap schedule while I was entertaining the Mike's family when he was at work.  Some days they went off on their own, so that helped.  One day, they all went out and I stayed home with E.  I put her down for her nap and took one myself. I've been so tired and find it difficult to catch up on sleep.  E. slept straight through to a full hour on her own.  The family came home and were hungry so I had to wake her up so we could go out!  I guess we are making progress.  Now, if I can only figure out how to get her to sleep until 6:30-7:00 AM!

Yesterday, the family left for home.  They were supposed to take an Amtrak train to Newark where they were to fly home.  Mike dropped them off at the station in the AM and went to the gym.  Their train was cancelled, maybe due to storm damage as it was bound for D.C.  They tried Mike's phone but he wasn't answering so called me.  After some discussion about their options, we decided that in order for them to make their flight I should drive them to Newark, about 2 hrs. away.  Getting there wasn't too bad except for construction on the G.W. Bridge.  I got them there in plenty of time for their flight.  E. slept in the car.  After dropping them off, she was awake and needed a diaper change.  I got lost in Newark trying to find a place to change her and get something to eat.  Eventually, I managed to find the way home and a rest area.  After too long a time there, we got back on the road.  There was major traffic on 95N and the G.W. Bridge was a nightmare again.  E. started crying, having lost her pacifier at the rest area.  Crying turned into hysterical screaming while I sat in a traffic jam.  She eventually passed out and ended up sleeping for about 2 hrs. in the afternoon.  We got home about 2 hours later than it should have taken.  My calf muscles hurt from stepping on the brakes so often from all of the stopping.  

Needless to say, I was wiped out when I got home and didn't feel like cooking dinner.  Did you think I'd forgotten about food?  I used a bunch of our CSA produce and made a Gazpacho with it.  No recipe really, I just threw it together.  I cooked some onions and garlic because I don't like it raw.  I chopped a sweet red pepper, some heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro and an avocado.  Threw it all in a blender and splashed in some balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, chipotle puree and seasoned it with salt and pepper and some Trader Joe's Smoke spice.  I liked it but I'm not sure how the Mike felt about it.  He told me before dinner that gazpacho never really impressed him.  I liked that it was easy and it was cold!  Also, it's a great way to use the abundant product from our CSA share.  I'm planning on having it again for lunch today.

*He informed me that he doesn't care for "Mister" so he will be referred to as Mike from now on.

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