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Benji is spending day 2 at daycare and I hope everything’s going well! Having no real work to do yet (we had to enrol Benji earlier in daycare than needed to ‘secure’ a spot; crazy, I know, thankfully the Australian government subsidises some of this!), Bry and I seized the opportunity to go on a lunch date at this new Mexican joint, Fonda Mexican, located in a fun and energetic neighborhood called Richmond.

Fonda Mexican serves gluten and dairy free tacos – YAY! – and delicious fries with an amazingly tasty aioli sauce. Price was about $6 per 6″ size taco – not too bad considering we’re in Australia. Bry ordered a burrito which tasted healthy and good. There were some crispy corn chips sprinkled in there which made it quite unique in a good way. We’ll definitely go back there again.

Now, I’m enjoying some QT by myself at home, catching up on housework and reading, when, really, I should be catching some zees.

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These last two weeks have seen me returning to some of the things I used to do pre-Benji.

1) Exercise/Fitness: I joined this fitness program for new moms, Fit42 that has classes all over BC and in some other provinces in Canada and started with the least strenuous level as I had not been exercising since Benji’s birth. Overall, the classes have been really enjoyable and went at a good pace: some slightly more strenuous circuits than others. It is a good class to ease my way in to more challenging activities in a couple months, for example, jogging.

20120413-144455.jpgI also started swimming again. It’s an exercise I have always enjoyed and still did when I was heavily pregnant at 36 weeks with Benji. So when I found out that the Vancouver Aquatic Center has child minding services Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 9am – 1pm, I went out almost immediately, bought swim gear (did not take it with me from Australia!! How silly!), and hit the pool. Did 15 laps which left me feeling invigorated for the next few hours…hoping to be able to do at least 25 by the end of the month or early next month. Good to have some goals.

2) Sleep: Exhaustion from the swim and taking care of this little guy drove me to stop messing around on the internet or watching unnecessary television and hit the sack early at 9pm. Which was great, because Benji only woke up at 530am and that, if I did the math right, meant I got 8.5 hours of sleep. Uninterrupted. My longest stretch since probably the last few weeks of pregnancy (I had lots of trouble sleeping from about 34 weeks on). Needless to say, the sleep was AMAAAAAZZING. I am so thankful to have gotten good rest.

3) Read: Benji has started occupying himself a bit more these days. In fact, sometimes he just wants to be left alone. Good for him AND me! I started reading again in the day and am actually able to get through about 5 to 6 pages at a go while he’s awake and preoccupied with his toy or his feet (he’s now addicted to uhm, trying to put his toes in his mouth. I am VERY concerned and will express that in my next post to come soon)

4) Dine out: Between the 3rd and 4th month, Benji was extremely fussy during the “witching” hour from 5pm-7pm. Taking him out to restaurants for our dinners was impossible because he would cry and scream and demand our undivided attention. However, since his eczema got better and he started sleeping through the night, his temperament also got better and reverted to how he was in the first couple months: relatively mellow. Seeing this improvement, we decided to take a gamble and try a family dinner out at a restaurant in our neighborhood that serves food with gluten and dairy free options!! The food was great,  and I was able to get a gluten and dairy free pecan pie with coconut ice cream dessert (YUM, first dessert in foreverrr!!) AND Benji was totally chilled out. Win!

I’m know this easy ride is not gonna last long but I’m enjoying it while I can…

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Celebrated Bry’s success @ work with a delectable lunch at Nobu at the Crown Casino. I first learned of Nobu when in Los Angeles. The chef, Nobu Matsuhisa, is a celebrity chef in the US and who now owns a chain of restaurants by the same name all over the world. Australia included. We had beautiful beef steak, spicy cooked prawns, and some really charming and delicious appetizers, one of which was cubes of rice deep fried and served with raw spicy tuna. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat the fresh fish but the deep fried rice was amazing. So was the steak, which was served with a special wasabi pickled sauce. Of course, being pregnant limited my choice of food especially at a Japanese restaurant where half of the menu comprises of some kind of raw meat (which I LOVE!).

Nevertheless, I still thoroughly enjoyed my meal. The dessert was also delightful, so don’t leave without trying something from the sweets menu.

Twas Bry’s birthday this past Thursday. He turned treinta y tres. (Which, coincidentally and unrelatedly to this post, is also the name of a little town in Uruguay…)

Here is a rehash of what we did that day, along with some pictures from the little b-day celebration for him…

Breakfast: Bagels!!! Thanks to my baking session with Maya and Teresa in San Diego, I realized that bagels were really simple to make!

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Lunch: Flower Drum Restaurant in Melbourne City – one of the finest Chinese restaurants we’ve ever been, thanks to a big treat from one of Bry’s friend’s parents from SoCal who were in town. The Peking duck was, oohlala, so succulent, tasty, and had some delicately crispy skin…MMmm I’m still salivating just thinking about it!

Dinner: BBQ lambchops with mint leaves, garlic, and olive oil dip; saffron and cumin seeds rice; potatoes with bay leaves, stir fried bak choy and broccoli; and SODA!!

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Dessert: (Which wasn’t ready till the next day; LOL!!) Blueberries with NY style cheesecake, one of Bry’s favorite cakes. It was also my first attempt at baking a whole cheesecake (I used to make little cheesecake tartlets), and was a little nervous. Thankfully, it came out great; I was especially delighted by its smooth creamy texture along with its delicious crispy crust! Recipe from joyofbaking.com.

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And now we need to start exercising…!!

As we start packing up our stuff for Melbourne, we have also started taking inventory of the foods we will miss when we leave this place and strategically planning how to eat all these foods or dine at these places at least once before we leave.

Mexican food definitely tops the list; my friend in Melbourne recently told me about Taco Bill and got me excited until I saw the exorbitant prices of their food online: AUD$21- USD$19-20 for a burrito.

Seriously??

I guess we won’t be dining there but instead loading it all up here and attempting our own Mexican fiesta recipes when we move!

Anyway, here are the top 12 foods/restaurants I’m hoping to feast at at least once more before leaving the U.S:

  1. Tacos from King Taco – probably has the closest to real Mexican tacos I can find in S. Cal
  2. Fish tacos from Rubios
  3. Salsa from Baja Fresh
  4. In-and-out burger
  5. BCD Tofu House
  6. Spicy fried chicken from the Korean pub, Prince
  7. Pinkberry Yogurt
  8. Buca Di Beppo
  9. Feasts at Ali Baba in San Diego
  10. Sichuan food at Chun King restaurant in Monterey Park
  11. Ethiopian food at Little Ethiopia in L.A.
  12. Brunch from The Cottage in La Jolla

Gulp; I’d better intensify my exercise regiment.