10 Moments in March

March is birthday month for half our house and there were other special memories I want to remember-here are 10!

1) Baby blanket afternoons. March was my last month of leave and I tried to soak up as much sunshine and baby time as possible. Sunny spring afternoons with Leoneli are pretty dreamy.

2) Two Year Diagnosaversary. The week-ish of March 2-March 13 is always bizarre, as it marks the anniversary of my diagnosis (March 2) and double mastectomy (March 13). In the past two years, I’m always surprised by how my body reacts to the anniversary (I guess the body really does keep the score). It is an intense time. One morning that week, I was up as the sun was rising and noticed the clouds were putting on a show. I threw a jacket over my pajamas and walked down to the water. It felt pretty stunning to be there, two years later, by the water, and feel ok. So, I took a picture to remember :)

3) Abu and Saba in Alameda! My parents did a quick 48 hour trip up north to see the house and their grandsons. It was a delight to see them. AND a super delight to go on an afternoon bike ride with David to a local brewery.

4) Diego Antonio turns 5! Diego turned 5 and lucky for all of us-his birthday was a SATURDAY. And super lucky for him-it was his weekend to bring home Sowl, the preschool class Snowy Owl. After soccer, he had a class pizza party in the park and seemed to LOVE every minute of celebrating with his friends. Leonel loved swinging with Sowl, too.

5) Fairyland with friends. After a big birthday, and on Daylight Savings, we met up with friends at Fairyland. Loved seeing these cheeky friends on the train.

6) Turning 37! And just as we recovered from Diego’s birthday, I turned 37. The kids look miserable here but for me, it was a very special walk to the water on my birthday eve. The next day, David, Leoneli and I went to tea :)

7) Purim Parade: Batman made an appearance at the preschool Purim parade and it was the most adorable 15 minutes of the school year.

8) Dewberry Reunion!! Janou and I flew to Irvine for the weekend to see Katie! The Tsangs were in Irvine for a few weeks and I wanted to be sure to meet Mira and see our favorite Londoners. It was a special day of eating bagels and sushi, devouring Thrifty ice cream and exploring the playgrounds.

9) Squeezing my nephew! For the first time, I was able to briefly visit Janou and Will without my kids and actually hold this sweet baby in my arms. He is just darling and I wish this was a daily thing!

10) Walking with Leoneli: This is pretty much my favorite part of this age: putting the baby in the Ergo, kissing the top of his head and going for a walk. Soaking up these moments as they are a true joy.

10 Moments in February

Today is my last day of parental leave (lots of emotions!), so I’m looking through lots of phone pictures and thinking about some special moments in February:

1) Owls, all day, every day: The Owl Unit continues to dominate all conversation and it is a delight. There’s artwork, woodwork, research, games, and if I think too much about how I love this preschool and how there’s only a few months left of it, I’ll cry. So, just treasuring all these special moments:

2) Iceskating in Yosemite: We took advantage of a long weekend to drive to Yosemite and see the snow. This year, Diego was old enough for the ice skating rink-and what a rink. Pretty stunning backdrop.

It was Leoneli’s first trip to the snow and Yosemite! The snow was definitely mostly old ice but it was still beautiful and this snuggly bear was game for all the exploring.

These two crack me up with how they make themselves at home in a hotel.

Best we could do!

On the way there and back we stayed in Stockton for the night and I loved this moment of Leoneli watching his Bisa making breakfast:

3) Unexpected Winter Break: Diego’s school closed abruptly for a week in February due to COVID. Thankfully, we rolled with it, since I’m on leave, and actually had a great time. We explored the beach, the zoo, the de Young-the second photo of Leoneli peaking out in front of the art makes me smile.

4) Afternoon beach trip: I’ve spent a lot of the last two years feeling precarious in my body-the cancer surgeries, pregnancy and postpartum in rapid succession left me wobbly. In the last few months, as I’ve felt stronger, it’s been empowering to feel comfortable going out and about with the kids by myself. We spent a happy winter afternoon at the beach. I really felt this strength and wanted to capture the feeling:

5) Baby’s first swing! Leonel is delightfully not wobbly and this sturdy kid took to the swings with joy.

6) Ferry trips to SF: I can’t say enough how grateful I am that we can now walk out of our house and take the ferry to SF (M-Friday, at least!). It’s a short ride and always a thrill to be on the boat as it passes under the Bay Bridge and arrives as the city. It’s magic during the day, at sunset, at night, all of it.

7) Valentine’s Day! Diego loves any reason to celebrate and make art. Ama came over before Valentines Day and they made tons of heart art. The night before, I taped them all to a wall in the kitchen and he was delighted to see his art on display. It made for a very festive Monday morning!

8) Long weekend at Camp Dewberry: As I’m looking at this, I think Diego was in school for maybe five days in February-lots of closures, lots of long weekends. We spent another long weekend in Irvine and mostly relaxed at home with Abu and Saba and had Diego’s (and my) favorite dinner-sushi from Taiko.

9) Tide Pools: Diego and I spent one morning and an evening at the tide pools and it was gorgeous and so special to have that one on one time together.

10) Being away from my computer: There’s a lot that I’m going to miss about parental leave, but looking at this picture from February, what stands out the most is this: being away from a computer and being present with my kids. The harsh reality is that when I go back to work (tomorrow!) this laptop is going to see a lot more of my face and my kids will see a lot less of it. It’s the brutal truth. This is not to say that I’ve been screen free during leave. There’s far too many times I’ve plopped Leonel down and scrolled on my phone for literally no productive reason other than to zone out. But, I remember this morning. Diego wanted to run outside, and so we did. We were playing, at at one point I thought, what time is it? I didn’t really know. I didn’t have to think about how many minutes we had to play before I had to get on a call. We just kind of…enjoyed the moment. That’s the freedom I’m going to miss. This moment, running in the sun and not having any other obligation than being there, on that grass, with this child, in this moment–I am so grateful for the time, for all of it.

10 moments in January

Hello 2022! Leoneli and I kicked off New Year’s Day with a sunset walk by the water. In addition to a new year, the other big change in January: I am officially on maternity leave (!!!). I went back to work when Leonel was 6 weeks old which was just as horrendous as it sounds. I finally qualified for parental leave (Note to Self: Don’t change jobs when pregnant and/or let’s change our parental support system so women don’t have to negotiate pregnancy timing with job searches…but that is a rant for another day). ANYWAY, I have twelve weeks of leave and go back to work at the end of March. I’m really grateful to start the year with more time with this cheeky baby. Here’s some other moments from the month to remember:

First Shabbat! Our first Shabbat in our new house, and first Shabbat of the year. There’s a lot we need to do to the home, but it felt really nice to finally be here together. AND-Leoneli is now in a high chair at the table!

Almanac: My COVID fears ratcheted back up this winter thanks to Omicron, so we didn’t see too many people. But it was really nice to spend an evening at Almanac with friends.

Diego’s first time ice skating: The Little Ice Rink in Alameda was a perfect ice skating introduction for Diego. I wasn’t sure if he would enjoy it but he was so determined with that dolphin and only left the rink when they kicked everyone off for the Zamboni.

Walks by the water: The extra time with Leonel is a treasure, and wrapping him up in the ergo for walks by the water is my favorite part of the day. I’m trying so hard not to get weepy already thinking about how this time is limited and soon enough he’ll be at daycare and I’ll be back to work. Really trying to enjoy it all and soak up these moments.

Gott’s seaside! Diego’s school has had a lot of random days off. Normally, this sends us into a panic, but thankfully, with me home, we’ve been able to hangout. My new favorite thing is walking to the Ferry and getting cheeseburgers at Gott’s at the SF Ferry Building. A very special treat.

Evening in SF: David and the kids went to Stockton one weekend and I enjoyed a solo weekend at home. I haven’t been apart from both of the kids since Labor Day, and I realized how much I needed some quiet time alone. I took the ferry to the city and biked along the Embarcadero. In nearly two years, because of….all the things…I haven’t traveled or really done….anything alone. I was surprised how invigorated I felt in the city, exploring at my own pace, lost in my own thoughts.

Reading and thinking: I’ve had more time for reading and thinking than I’ve had in a long time. January was a BRUTAL month for parents with young, unvaccinated kids. I read a lot of tipping point articles, and feel a rage inside me at how hideous this pandemic is for parents. I’ve also been thinking a lot about parenting, working, caring, all of it. Haven’t really sorted anything out, but man, its been an intense few years. Reading Nighbitch by Rachel Yoder and Out of Office by Anne Helen Peterson, back to back, definitely stirred up some working mother angst!

Nature Walks: Diego’s class is currently going DEEP into studying owls. Everything is about owls. Did you know that owls have 14 vertebrae in their neck so they can swivel, where we only have 7? Hang out with us for five minutes and you’ll learn all about Barn, Burrowing, Snowy owls and MORE. We took some nature walks to Redwood Regional and Samuel Taylor Park and didn’t see any owls but did get to hear a lot of “I’m so tired” from a certain four year old :)

Cheeseburgers: Always a highlight. We tried Lovelys in Oakland it was delicious.

Soccer! One of the parents in Diego’s class organized a Saturday morning soccer pod at Bladium. He loves it! With January’s intensity it was nice to have an outlet for him on the weekends to run around with friends.

Katie’s book at East Bay Booksellers! Leoneli and I were strolling around Rockridge when I saw Katie’s book in the window of my favorite bookstore! It was thrilling! Its been a big winter of Webber-Tsang reading at our house. David and Diego started the Sam Wu series and I devoured Katie’s gorgeous latest book, The Revelry.

Ruth Bancroft Gardens: I’ve been using the Discover and Go tickets from the library for tickets to local museums. I’ve always wanted to see the Ruth Bancroft succulent gardens and it was stunning. Equally enjoyable, the volunteer gardeners were eager to talk to anyone, and I was happy to listen. Observing their love for the garden and fascination at the way each plant is placed, how it changes, what it means, was a true delight.

Heather McMahan! Janou and I got tickets to her show in SF and she was AMAZING. Honestly, she could have been terrible and it would have still been a thrilling experience-being at a show! Out at night!-but her storytelling is incredible. The way she spoke about grief and loss, with HUMOR, was incredible.

Alameda Point Waterfront Park: A new park opened up on the water in January and its been another happy spot to enjoy the sunsets :)