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Weekend Fun

20 May

We’re at the point in the year where every weekend is full of plans– fun, but so busy!

Last Friday, Mike and I went to a Padres game. The following day, we took Michaela and her best friend Claudia to Legoland, then dashed home and went to dinner with a group of friends.

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The day after that was Mother’s Day… So, to be fair, it was really busy for Mike and Michaela, but super chill for meeeee!!! They made me my favorite breakfast (cinnamon raisin bread French toast, eggs, hash browns, bacon, and fruit), I took a long nap after sleeping in late, we went open housing, and then had dinner out. It was perfect!

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This weekend has been similarly busy, except Mike is out of town for work. He had to head to Vegas for a shoot on Friday and Saturday, then Phoenix Sunday though Wednesday. Michaela and I have been living it up in his absence. She had a playdate with Claudia Friday afternoon, followed by takeout Mexican food and several episodes of “Monkey Life.” Saturday, we went to the Children’s Nature Retreat in Alpine, where we fed camels, alpacas, pigs, cows, goats, horses, tortoises, and more.

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Today, Sunday, we walked in the 32nd annual Navy Bay Bridge Run/Walk, a four-mile course that took us through downtown San Diego, Chicano Park, and across the Coronado Bay Bridge. As a native San Diegan, I was ridiculously excited to be able to walk over the bridge. It was awesome!A little tired – and dramatic – by Mile 3.

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At the finish line.

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Oh, hey! We walked across that!

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Now we’re off to dinner with friends!

Breaking the Habit

9 May

When Michaela started having to take lunch to school, I bought fabric sandwich bags, so we weren’t trashing a million Ziplock bags. That was no problem. Just put the sandwich or carrot sticks or whatever else in the fabric bag, not plastic.

A couple of years ago, we ditched all our plastic storage containers and moved to glass. I feel less concerned we’re being exposed to chemicals that we shouldn’t be, and to me, it feels downright luxurious to pull out a glass container of leftovers.

Mike has always been a big fan of cloth napkins (which we NEVER used when I was a kid), so we generally use those for meals, not paper napkins or paper towels. I even recently — like this week — started bringing some cloth napkins to work to cut down on my use there.

So why am I having such a hard time with single use plastic?!?

I have been trying lately to use less of it, to be more environmentally friendly. I went to IKEA and bought a couple of ceramic plates and a set of utensils to keep at work, so I could use those to reheat food or eat my lunch without worrying about taking away from our home dishes. The problem is, I only bought set — one fork, one knife, and one spoon — so I sometimes find myself without whatever utensil I need because it’s at home in the dishwasher waiting to be washed. Strike one.

Now, I don’t drink a lot of drinks that require straws, but I prefer to use a straw if I’m drinking soda or if I’ve grabbed takeout somewhere that includes a drink, generally I need a straw. So I bought some glass straws. I washed them, set a few on the counter so I could take them to work/put them in my purse… And one immediately rolled off the counter and shattered into a million pieces on the floor. Looks like the landfill is getting some more waste after all. Strike two.

Today I brought leftovers of a Chipotle burrito bowl to work for lunch. At the restaurant yesterday, when I tucked my food into the (paper) bag to take home, I remembered to throw my fork in there so I could use it again today. “There’s one piece of plastic that will get multiple uses,” I thought. And to my credit, I did use it for lunch and for my afternoon snack of watermelon chunks. I have to work late tonight and was provided dinner, so I made myself a plate (plastic– darn it, I could have brought my own!) and grabbed a napkin (paper– darn it!) and a fork and knife. You see where this is going, right? A plastic fork and a plastic knife, when I could have reused my one from earlier or used my IKEA utensils. Strike three!

It has really helped me see how ingrained these habits are in me and in my life. I guess I can’t expect to get it right 100% of the time, but I do feel inspired to keep trying.

It’s a Girl

6 May

No, I’m not pregnant.

My friend Lee is!

So this weekend, she flew down to San Diego and two other college friends and I sprinkled her and the baby (vs. showering them, since this is Lee’s second child) with love. We girls ate and chatted and relaxed and ate some more, and it was lovely.

There really is something to be said for old friends. It’s so easy to be with people who you’ve known for a long time. Because we take an annual girls’ trip, we also manage to stay relatively up on each others’ lives, so when we get together, in addition to reliving our glory days, we check in with how we’re are doing with work, marriage, motherhood, etc.

It was relaxing and re-energizing, all at the same time. I’m so thankful for the girls and a family that supports my taking time away!

It’s Only 10:09

23 Apr

Yesterday Mike had an early shoot but Michaela and I slept in until about 8:45. It was glorious! We had a leisurely morning. When it was finally time to head out and make our way to Balboa Park for a trip to the Earth Fair and the zoo, I started to gently nudge Michaela in the direction of getting ready. Her response?

“Don’t get a stick up your butt! It’s only 10:09!”

Where does she learn this stuff?!?!

I’ll give you one hint.

I texted Mike to relay the comment. He texted me back, “Sounds like good advice to me.”

Michaela is her father’s daughter.

This and That

10 Apr

March was a looooong, painful month. Lots of travel and work and stress for Mike, and lots of work and stress for me. Michaela, as usual, did pretty well, though. She’s LOVING her after-school jump rope class and can often be found outside, practicing techniques like “skier” and “Irish jig.” (Who knew there was so much to jump roping?)

Mike’s mom came to stay with us for a week or so at the end of the month, which was lovely. She and Michaela had a great time hanging out, going to the park, making shrinky dinks, and doing crafts. The Easter Bunny visited our house and hid 30 eggs, some of which were filled with candy and others of which were filled with candy and dollar coins) and then we had a big lunch that included neighbors coming over so we could taste each other’s homemade cakes. Mike and his mom made a cake in the shape of an egg.

Like this one from How to Cake It:

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If March dragged, April seems to be flying by so far. I hope we’ll be able to kick off a front yard renovation soon (lord knows it’s terribly needed) and book some fun stuff for summer. After all, it’s only nine more weeks until Michaela is done with second grade!

That Age

27 Mar

Apparently I’ve reached the age where friends start to die?

I got a call yesterday that someone I worked with passed away over the weekend. “She went into the hospital and didn’t come out,” is how the person who called me put it. This woman just turned 40 and was a very warm, bright personality. We weren’t close, but I just had dinner with her and her boyfriend (and some other colleagues). At dinner, she and her boyfriend were giddy, so in love, talking about the place they found to rent together, how they got rid of their “his” and “her’s” furniture and bought new stuff, and the life they were planning to build together. My heart aches for her boyfriend and her family.

Forty used to seem old, but now, of course, it doesn’t. Stuff like this definitely forces a reality check– focus on the things that matter, which are not the small things that are usually annoying me.

I went home and hugged Michaela extra tight.

Skating

10 Mar

Michaela took ice skating lessons when she was a tot. She liked it but not well enough to keep doing it. She’s skated once or twice since then during free skate, but that’s about it. So when we decided to go roller skating with friends last weekend, I wasn’t sure how she’d do. Heck, I wasn’t sure how I would do!

We met our friends, slooooowly strapped on our skates, and proceeded to the rink.

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The girls were wobbly and had a hard time, and we were outnumbered (three kids to two adults), so we got them each a skating support. It’s a little contraption made out of PVC pipe that the kid can hang onto and push along with them– a walker of sorts.

After a couple of trips around the rink, Michaela handed me her walker, dramatically held out her arm, said “Bye, Mom!” and skated off! A little haltingly, sure, but she she did it! She spent the entire rest of our time there skating around by herself, having a good old time.

I’m so proud of my little skater!

Grandma Pat

24 Feb

Mike said it best, so I’ll excerpt part of his Facebook post here:

Grandma Pat fell asleep in her armchair over the weekend (as she was known to do), but this time she didn’t wake up. She lived 83 good years.

She was loving and nonjudgemental, but wasn’t afraid to yank you out of your chair by your ear if you were out of line.

Grandma Pat was a lovely woman. She was always incredibly kind to me, welcomed me to the family with open arms. She lent Mike and I 10% of the purchase price of our first home so we’d have a 20% down payment (we paid her back with interest and early, I’m proud to say). That investment in us is a huge part of the reason Mike and I have the life we have today.

When Michaela was born, Pat came down for several days. She held Michaela constantly and the two of them often fell asleep together. Grandma would be on the couch holding Michaela and one or the other of them would fall asleep. Eventually they’d both wake up, Michaela would have a diaper change, and Pat would take Michaela out to sit on the porch swing in the sun. One or both of them would fall asleep there, and the cycle would repeat. We were so frantic and tired that we didn’t snap a picture of the two of them napping together, which disappoints me more than I can express.

I’ll definitely miss Grandma Pat, but am happy she took her leave of the planet the way she wanted– peacefully, in her home, no slow decline in a nursing home, no move to be closer to one of her sons. I hope we will all be so lucky.

 

Unleashing My Inner Yogi

4 Feb

I’ve done yoga off and on over the years, including several periods when I did it multiple times a week. I love the way it calms my mind, helps me be more flexible, and tones my body. So I set an intention on Dec. 31 that I would start my mornings with 30 minutes of yoga each day. I have done that every day since!

I wake up about 40 minutes earlier than I used to, to give myself time to roll out my mat, turn the TV onto a yoga video (thanks, Amazon Prime Video!), do my 30 minutes, and feel genuinely refreshed at the end. I have felt less stressed during the day, even during crazy work days, and it inspires me to eat better, too.

I signed Michaela up for an after-school yoga class. It’s only an hour one day a week, but I thought she’d like it because her old nanny used to take her to yoga at the library. She has embraced it and comes home talking about different poses. Given that, I decided to get her her own mat (she had been using mine).

This morning, I asked her if she wanted to do yoga with me so she could try out her newly purchased mat. She said okay on the condition that we do her kids Cosmic Yoga. It’s a video series where a super enthusiastic British lady wearing a onesie spins a 15-minute yarn, using different poses and actions to advance the story. I prefer my regular video, but I figured what the heck. I felt like a total idiot making”meow” sounds during cat pose, but it sure was fun to do it together!

Breakfast with the Principal

4 Feb

A couple of weeks ago (I’m behind on blogging!), Michaela was nominated by her teacher for Breakfast with the Principal. Her teacher’s nomination included: “I love that she does not shy away from voicing her thoughts and opinions and always stands on the side of what is fair and just. She’s kind, thoughtful, , and has an awesome sense of humor!”

That’s why I found myself holding back tears at 8 a.m. at a folding table in the school multipurpose room. In my opinion, that’s just about the nicest, best thing anyone could ever saw about someone. My goal in life is to raise Michaela to be someone who speaks up for herself and others, and who makes the world a better place. I’m hoping it sticks and she’ll continue to be the way her teacher described her!