It has taken me entirely too long to get this post written and posted. The most bizarre things have been happening in my household lately. Last Friday I learned we have adopted a new family member. Not something you just learn overnight, right? We like to call him Stuart Little. He’s little and brown with a long creepy, hairless tail. We had been debating adopting a new family member, only we were thinking of something more in the form of a dog… not a mouse. So, the mouse ran past my toes in the bathroom and straight into my nicely sized walk-in closet. After squealing like a lunatic (attracting both my children and dog to the bathroom) and sitting on the toilet with my feet raised for an inexcusable amount of time, I closed the closet door and put a towel down at the crack where the door meets the 1 inch gap before the floor.
Next up: Home Depot. Not only did I buy way too many sticky mouse traps, I decided I’d buy bug bombs too. Let’s not even discuss the size of the black widow my husband killed in the garage a couple weeks ago. And on that note, I feel like I should add, I swear I don’t have a dirty house. It just so happens we live in a house surrounded by fields. I hear that is to blame for the mice. As for the spiders… well that’s just a good ole benefit to living in California. Back to Stuart Little. We set up like 4 traps in the closet. Saturday morning we found a tiny little footprint where he stepped down and said, “hey, this may be a bad idea. I think I’ll pull my toes off and head back to camp and roast some s’mores instead.” So, we added peanut butter in hopes of luring him back. Day two: still no Stuart. So, I sent my husband and dog into the closet to force him to surrender. Joke was on us. That turd was gone. Nowhere to be found. Basically, we’re now six days in and he’s MIA. Which is far more unsettling than believing he was trapped in my closet. I even avoided going in my closet for clothes until today. (I finally ran out of shirts in my dresser.) What’s even more pathetic, I took my son to a doctor’s appointment Friday with no social security number on his paperwork and explained to the receptionist that Stuart Little was in my closet (along with the card) and they were going to have to see him without that information. She looked at me like I had lost my mind but they were still able to see us. Thank goodness. Positive my husband would have never let me live that down.
In addition to our new addition, our one year old boxer, Ellie, has convinced herself there will be more additions to our family. Have you ever in your life heard of female dogs having “false pregnancies?” Well, friends… it is a real thing. About the time Stuart so rudely introduced himself, Ellie had started to become withdrawn. She sleeps all day. All day. She’s even started carrying around her toys and some of the kids’ toys as if they’re her babies. The worst part? She’s already a temperamental dog… now she’s become aggressive. Women… Before I realized what was going on with her, I called up a trainer and made arrangements to start a training session this Sunday. Now, I have to decide if we should still pursue training with her acting like a weirdo.
I don’t even know which way is up at this point. I’ve got a mouse in my house and a crazy dog thinking toys are her babies.
Earlier this week we missed soccer practice in order for my 3 and 4 year old to meet their teachers. (This will be my daughter’s first year in preschool and my son’s first year in transitional kindergarten. As a parent (and child), that’s a pretty big deal.) Not only did we miss soccer, I missed my yoga class. Prior to this week, practice was at 6:30pm and my husband and I were doing a sort of tag team. I’d take our son to soccer and stay until he arrived to tag me out and then head to yoga. I have since been informed that soccer is now Monday and Wednesday at 7pm. Same. Time. As. Yoga. Yup, my luck. Buuuut, our tag team could still afford me the opportunity to make it to yoga, right? Not anymore. I found out today that my dearest husband will now be working until 7pm every night. Goodbye yoga, hello grumpy mom.
This is where I give advice I’m still learning to accept myself. Regardless of how crazy your life becomes at times, still make time for yourself and exercise. Tomorrow, instead of watching Kelly and Michael while sipping hot coffee (and finishing it while it’s STILL hot), I will head to the gym. I may also finally try out an at home yoga video. Who knows, maybe I’ll like it better than the instructors I’ve been going to.
Now, for the good stuff. Food. More specifically, shrimp. Shrimp are bottom feeders and that weirds some people out (cough, my husband, cough) but what most people don’t know is that they are an unusually concentrated source of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient called astaxanthin. So, why not throw them in a taco and call it a day? Below are my recipes for shrimp tacos and a delicious mango-corn salsa for topping.
For the mango-corn salsa you’ll need:
3 ears of corn, grilled
2 mangoes, cut into bite size pieces
3/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped- seeds and ribs removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
optional: before putting the ears of corn on the grill season each with your preferred spices. I chose cumin for a smokey flavor, Pico Limon for heat, and salt because… well everything tastes better with a little salt.
Start by seasoning the corn (if you prefer) and putting them directly on the grill over medium heat. Once they have some grill marks, remove from grill and then cut the kernels off into a bowl. From there, add all of your other ingredients and stir it up… little darlin’ stir it up. Like Bob Marley because every little thing is going to be alright. Anyway, cover salsa and place in the fridge until you’re ready to dig in.
For the tacos you’ll need:
1/2 lb shrimp
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
3 tbs taco seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
dash of red pepper flakes (optional depending on your spice preference)
juice of 1 lime
Marinate for at least 30 minutes
You’ll saute the shrimp in skillet over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Be sure the shrimp are not overlapping. They are finished when they have turned bright pink and the flesh is opaque white, rather than translucent.
While the shrimp are cooking up, in a smaller skillet over medium heat warm your corn tortillas one at a time. Use a little non-stick cooking spray. About a minute on each side or until they turn a little golden.
Once your shrimp and tortillas are ready scoop in some shrimp, mango-corn salsa and hot sauce. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for updates on Stuart Little.