Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Little Littles: Spicy Spring Noodles

I have a whole separate post dedicated to this, but for the past few weeks we've had houseguests.  Of the hummingbird variety.  We watched a mama hummingbird build her nest, warm her eggs, and raise her young.  We took to calling the babies "little littles" because I described them as "little little birds" and Thatbaby quickly picked up on the first part, and asked to see the "little littles" multiple times of day.

But teeny tiny hummingbirds aren't the topic of today's post.  Today I'm writing about the other little littles - of the human variety.  Premature babies.  L&O and I were talking about all the anxieties that come along with motherhood (which I'll probably touch on in another post also) and one of them is that the entire pregnancy, there's a worry that things won't turn out as planned.  Something will happen to the baby.  Along the spectrum of losing the baby and bringing home a healthy bundle of joy is the premature baby - a little little who comes a bit too early.

One of L&O's besties is going through this right now.  Panda's water broke 2 weeks ago.  She was 27 weeks pregnant.  I received a text from L&O shortly after Panda had headed in to the hospital.  We all expected imminent labor, and sent positive thoughts for Panda's son, who was not quite ready to be born.  The first goal was to stall labor for 48 hours, giving the steroid injection time to mature Baby Panda's lungs more.  And Baby Panda surpassed that goal, and the subsequent ones.  It's been over 2 weeks, and Baby Panda is still an "inside baby."  Panda herself is still in the hospital, receiving frequent visits from L&O, who is a kickass friend to have at times of crisis.

As an example, shortly after Panda headed to the hospital, L&O organized a team to walk in support of Baby Panda at this year's March of Dimes walk.

When she asked if I wanted to join in, I couldn't help but say yes.  As a friend of a friend, I've gotten to here about Detective's struggles, and I'll do anything I can do to support her in her journey to motherhood.  On top of that, I know several others who have faced the journey of having a premature baby.  It's not an easy road.  Leaving your child in the NICU while you head home must be one of the hardest things to bear as a parent.  And I recognize how lucky I am to have brought a healthy, full term, child into the world.

I'd say we woke early to head to the walk on Saturday, but in truth, we wake early because of a certain toddler who doesn't understand the concept of sleeping in on the weekend. But we did leave the house early and head to Balboa Park to meet up with the group and get our t-shirts before getting our walk on.

There were a ton of people there, warming up.  Eventually our group filed into line to start the race.  I'm not going to lie.  I completely missed the start.  There were so many people, and since we were all walking, there was no movement at the start line for a while.  I thought we were just smooshing forward, when actually we had started the walk.

Thatboy hates "races" in Balboa Park because it means getting up extra early to make the drive down and find parking.  But it is a great venue for them.  The beautiful architecture, fountains, and wide paths. 

After 3.5 miles, we waited in line to cross the finish.

Looks closely and you'll see that even though he was being pushed, the walk really tired out one member of  the team.

He awoke in time to check out the amazing kid's tent - with lots of bubbles to play with.  And share some of Little LO's snacks.

On Friday night, when Thatboy was complaining about having to head down to Balboa Park, I tried to sweeten the deal with the offer of breakfast out.  Which he was more than happy to take me up on.  So after the walk, we headed to grab a bite to eat.

This picture cracks me up.  I couldn't figure out what Thatbaby was doing, until Thatboy informed me that he was copying me.  I was leaning back trying to get them in the picture, and our little Monkey-see had to get into the action.

The morning of the walk started off nice and cool, but by the time it finished, we were all peeling off layers.  It got hot!  It was such sunny, summery weather that I'm compelled to share this summery noodle dish.  Not the typical heavy pasta dish, this one is filled with spring vegetables and, yup, fresh herbs!

Spicy Spring Noodles
4 ounces Pad Thai noodles
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
Juice of one lime
1 Tbsp  soy sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 tsp crushed ginger
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Thai chiles, finely chopped
1 pound snow peas, trimmed
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. Add radishes,onions, basil, cilantro, mint, lime juice and soy sauce.  Toss.
  3. Combine the canola oil, ginger, garlic, and chiles in a skillet.  Cook over low heat for until fragrant.
  4. Add snow peas and salt and cook until the peas are tender, but still crisp.
  5. Combine the snow peas and noodles and toss.
  6. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.


  1. How cute are those owl March of Dimes shirts!!!! Love!

  2. I hope all of the Little Littles are doing okay. I remember feeling a bit of relief when I passed the 27 week point -- Most books said that babies born at that time had a very good chance of survival. Still no one wishes for a 13 week premature baby. A walk through Balboa Park would be so nice! If I ever return to San Diego, that's what I want to do. I only got a quick look on the trolley tour and when going to the zoo.

  3. What a sweet thing for you guys to do! I was a premature baby, but only about six weeks so not TOO bad. Fingers crossed that Panda's baby stays inside for a while more!

  4. Nice to see families marching together for a good cause.

    This noodles with lots of Spring is nice for lunch and will brighten up the rest of the day.