18 Oct

Michaela is just a couple of months shy of turning five. She lately has been very interested in spelling words instead of saying them, so I thought I’d share a list of words she can spell all by herself and that she regularly sprinkles into conversation:

  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Rey
  • Go
  • No
  • Yes

You may notice that Michaela is not on that list. She is a bit hit or miss on spelling her name. Lots of times when she writes it, it’s more like Mcihaela. Definitely a work in progress!

She’s a very verbal little girl. In fact, at her preschool’s parent night the other day, her teacher said she loves talking to Michaela because she has such a big vocabulary. She said it’s clear we talk to her like a grown up (meaning we use adult words, not that we discuss adult topics, ha ha), which is definitely true. No baby talk in our household!


1 Oct

Sometimes Michaela says things that just crack me up. Tonight, she was fighting sleep. We have a set routine for bedtime, but usually Mike does it with her, not me. He’s out of town, though, so it was all me– and I got to listen to these chestnuts.

Michaela, laying in bed, not sleeping. Me sitting in the rocking chair in her room. Out of nowhere, Michaela says, “I asked myself, ‘Do I want to rock [on my lap, in the chair] or do I want to lay in bed?’ You know what I decided? I want to rock.”

Later, a big yawn. Then, “Goodnight, sweet little bear!”

This is the same girl who I took to Rubio’s today for dinner. She said to me, completely out of the blue, in the sweetest tone ever, “Thank you, Mommy.” I asked her thank you for what? She said, “For bringing me to Rubio’s.” I told her thank you for being so sweet, to which she replied, “I don’t always carry my good manners with me, but I try.”

Today was one of those days. In the shower this morning, she was talking about my mom, who, for whatever reason, she sometimes refers to as “Grammy.” (For the record, my mom’s “official” name to Michaela is Grandma Janice, so this is something Michaela just made up on her own.) I said something about Grammy and Michaela said, “Mom, you know what a Grammy is?” I said “Your grandma?” She said, “No! It’s a music award!”

That was a little bit after I’d wrapped up the first day of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. Which is really hard, btw. Jillian said, “let’s do some more jumping jacks!” I groaned, “AGAIN?!?” And Michaela piped up with “You probably should have picked something else, Mom. Indeed.

40 Things Before 40

14 Sep

Today’s my birthday. I’m 35! I am very excited about this age and about what the year ahead holds. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a list of 40 things to do before I turn 40 — things that are do-able in the next five years. But coming up with 40 things is hard! Here’s my list so far:

1. Run a 5K

2. Go to Europe again

3. Write a book (doesn’t have to be published, but I have a lot of ideas and I’d like to get at least one of them out on paper!)

4. Learn to swim

5. Watch the “Before Sunrise” trilogy

6. Get highlights (in my hair; not the magazine)

7. Take a trip to Mexico City

8. Start a scholarship to help low-income students study abroad

9. Volunteer in Michaela’s classroom on a regular basis

10. Not only schedule a regular date night with Mike each month, but actually make it happen!

(#11-21 added on 9/23)

11. Attend 15th college reunion

12. Go on a road trip to visit Civil War sites

13. Learn how to grill

14. Blog regularly (at least once/week)

15. See Prince in concert with my friend Ruch

16. Celebrate Mike’s 40th birthday in style

17. Go on a Disney cruise

18. Sustain my recently acquired healthy habits (exercising regularly, eating better, drinking half my body weight in ounces of water each day)

19. Learn to kayak (after doing #4 above)

20. Go see a Lakers game with my mom and brother

21. Attend my 20th high school reunion

What would you add?

Michaela’s First Sleepover

16 Aug

Michaela was all set tonight to sleepover at her friend A’s house. She was excited leading up to it, but nervous. Still, when we left her to go to her friend’s, it seemed like everything was okay. Then the phone rang at about 9:30 and I knew all was not well. Turns out Michaela was sad, said she was “missing [us] too much.” Awwww.

I asked her if she wanted me to go pick her up, so she could come home and sleep here and she said yes, so I headed to our friends’. On the way, I thought I’d try to calm her down, get her to go to sleep, and maybe it would be okay. So that’s what I tried. Except our normal bedtime routine at home involves rocking her to sleep (yes, even at the age of 4.5) or snuggling with her in bed. That’s how I ended up laying on the trundle bed with Michaela, turning the 2 kids sleepover into a 3-person sleepover.

Michaela eventually fell asleep and I left, but it made me think about the things we do for our kids. And the things we do for our kids which may or may not help them in the long run. I don’t know that trekking out in the middle of the night to lay with her was a good thing, but I do think that helping her be proud that she made it there through the night, conquering her fear, waking up the next morning and having fun… is a good thing. I guess time will tell.

A new leaf?

11 Aug

Mike, Michaela and I are just back from a trip to Kansas, for Mike’s brother’s wedding. I did something I’ve never done before on vacation– made it a point to exercise! I’ve been going to pilates faithfully for the last several weeks and didn’t want to lose that momentum while I was gone. So I did two days of the Couch to 5K app – running! yes, me, running! – and went to a yoga class while I was in Kansas. Maybe this habit is going to stick? I hope so!

Making Time

31 Jul

I’ve been to pilates six times in the last 19 days. The first class I went to, I was SO SORE. I couldn’t move my arms after, and each time I so much as sneezed, I groaned involuntarily. It kicked my butt! But I guess that’s what happens when you go back to exercising after more than two years without it. It feels good to make time for exercise, and to make time for myself!

Garden Update

20 Jul

This year’s garden is doing amazingly well. We’ve got so many tomatoes, I gave some away to the neighbors. I have two honeydew melons that are close to ready. My pumpkin–or maybe it’s a watermelon?–is getting bigger. Will it turn orange? We’ll see!

Soon, we’ll be eating fresh broccoli and carrots. I might make some tzatziki with my dill. We just got our first red strawberry– and I’ve never heard anyone as excited as Michaela was when she spotted it.

My peas, peppers, grapes and blackberries are coming along.

I love summer!

How You’ve Grown!

20 Jul

Since taking my current job about two years ago, the amount of work travel I do has dropped to almost none. Mike travels a decent, amount, though. Some months, it seems like we’re in a constant state of flux, with one of us (usually him) coming or going practically every week. We’ve traveled a lot since the spring- I’ve taken multiple trips to the Bay Area, Mike and I did an East Coast extravaganza, our family traveled together to Oklahoma, Mike was in New Orleans for about a week, etc.

I’m fresh off a rip to Baltimore, where I presented at an industry conference. And even though I was able to talk to Michaela on the phone and do some video chatting with her and Mike, I still can’t get over how much it seems like she grew during the six days I was gone. Mike and Michaela were sweet enough to surprise me at the airport, and I feel like I almost didn’t recognize the big girl who came barreling into me while I waited for my bags. She seemed taller somehow, and even more verbal. It really hits home how much of a sponge kids are, how quickly they change, and how lucky I am to get to spend quality time with Michaela.


20 Jul

Mike’s Grandma Shirley–his stepdad’s mother–died today. I didn’t know her incredibly well, but every encounter I had with her was very pleasant. She was kind to me, and doted on Michaela.

She will be missed.

Independence Day Weekend

6 Jul

How lovely to have a holiday fall on a Friday! This year, the 4th of July was on Friday, meaning I got the day off from work and then rolled into a gorgeous long weekend.

Mike’s cousins Maggie and Haley (and Haley’s boyfriend Aaron) came to visit us from Arizona, so we did something we don’t usually do: went to some San Diego tourist hot spots during the summer. Usually, like many locals, we lay low in the summertime. Let the “Zonies” visit the zoo and clog our beaches. We can enjoy them the rest of the year, when the weather is still beautiful but things are less crowded.

Our guests wanted to go to the beach on the 4th, but we are not totally insane and begged off. Instead they went, finding parking who knows how far away from the beach, and marveled at how crowded it was and how perfect the water temperature was. (They also came back sunburned and exhausted.)

We did take them to the San Diego Bay that night, though, to watch the fireworks. I’ve never done that, preferring to watch fireworks from somewhere less crowded (the roof of our house when I was a kid, then the patio of our house when Mike and I lived in Grant Hill). But it was really fun! We packed a great picnic dinner, Michaela was well-rested from a long afternoon nap, and we sat right on the water’s edge, watching four or five different fireworks displays.

The 5th of July saw us take them to Old Town for dinner at The Cosmopolitan, which we’d been past before but never eaten at. I really wanted to dine at Fiesta de los Reyes, but the two hour wait got me off that idea really quick. Good thing, too, because the food at The Cosmopolitan was delicious (among other things, Mike had the fried chicken and churros I had a porkchop, plus really flaky popovers with fig butter) and the courtyard we ate in was quaint. I can’t wait to eat there again!

We rounded off the touristy long weekend with a trip to Coronado today. We had brunch at a coffee shop that we’ve passed a million times but never eaten in (verdict: meh) and then walked down to the Del. We wandered through the lobby and past the shops, then out on the the beach. Our guests were dutifully impressed by the great cooling breeze and the massive sand castles someone had built, and Michaela had a blast digging holes and burying her feet in the sand.

Here’s to independence!

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