10 moments in April

Hello! Happy almost weekend :) It is definitely May and I just wanted to jot down some memories from last month before too much more time goes by.

1) Museum Day!

Still don’t like BofA, but still really like the Museums on Us events. During the first weekend in April, we drove to the deYoung. We got there as it opened, and enjoyed a quiet and empty Arts of the Americas exhibit before the museum got crowded. The observation deck was incredible, and we spent quite a bit of time at the deYoungsters exhibit, which was was more fun and involved than I expected for a children’s section.

2) New Orleans

The Aging in America conference was in New Orleans this year, and it was exciting to have an opportunity to visit the city. Tracey and I checked out Cafe du Monde and it TOTALLY lived up to the hype.

3) Passover!

The three of us had the shortest, simplest Seder, and it was just right :)

4) Earth Day at FROG Park

We joined in the annual neighborhood FROG Park cleanup day, and Diego loved running around with the broom. So many children gathered together to clean! It was really sweet.

5) Easter!

We walked along Lake Merritt and went to brunch in Jack London for Easter. Lucky us, Silvia is an incredible photographer, and took some spring photos of us and Diego :)

6) Saturday night dinner

We got lucky a few weekends and managed to enjoy going out to a (very) early dinner out. Diego grabbed David’s sunglasses at High Peaks Kitchen and officially won dinner.

7) Oakland Zoo!

We were wandering around the Bear exhibit and bumped in to Zac and Isla! I love this picture of the gondola ride down: dads, babies, goldfish and an incredible view.

8) Baby Evie!!

The ABSOLUTE best part of April: Baby Evie entered the world!! Katie is a mother!! We’re going to London in two months and I cannot wait for baby time.

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The Park

I’m in one of those lost stages where I can’t find a commitment worthy book. (Come on, Oakland Library waiting list!). When that happens, I turn to my nightstand copy of Loud and Clear, and retreat to Anna Quindlen’s beautiful words. In tonight’s essay, she mentioned a decades old story about her children, and I thought “how does she remember all that? Does she just have a library of notes from parenting?”

And then I thought about two sweet observations from this evening’s walk to the park. The chance I’ll remember these moments after tomorrow is about 5% (maybe this photo will trigger the memory).

So, anyway, I jumped out of bed, grabbed my computer, and decided to jot down two moments from today that made me smile.

This is not my house, this is not my car. I’ve walked by it over a hundred times on the way home from daycare or the park. I’ve never noticed it before. This evening, walking to the park, Diego took a seat. A nearby house had a half-fence, he sat down, and instructed me (MAMA. SIT.) to do the same. I looked up and saw this home. I imagine the car caught his eye; if you had to create a streetscape diorama to attract a toddler, a green and purple house with a yellow car would be a good start. Seconds later, he was up and running to the park.

It is Mother’s Day Eve. I don’t know if the holiday made me more reflective than normal, but something just made me smile. Have I ever-EVER-stopped mid-walk, to sit on a stranger’s fence, and look at a colorful home? Never. Would I have ever looked up and noticed that scene if Diego hadn’t asked me to stop? Probably not. I can’t resist the temptation to see something there-that my child, in this isolated way and in so many others, forced me to slow down and look around. Stopping, slowing down, pausing, in big and small ways has been a major adjustment, and one I haven’t always handled well. But looking around, observing, stepping outside of myself, and seeking guidance, ideas and opening up my mind–that’s also been a challenge but an incredible one.

Anyway, all to say, thanks Diego, and thank you purple house, for that moment.

The other observation is just fun. While Diego was playing, I started chatting with the sweetest grandparents at the park. They were visiting from out of town, pushing a toddler on the swing, photographing the sweetest baby on the grass. Eventually, the baby got fussy, they began packing up. Then, stroller time. Something with the baby and one of the stroller straps, and then this gem:

“Well, you got her into this. I can’t figure it out! I’m sure she’s fine. I mean, we’ll be right here, she’s not going to fall out.”

I couldn’t stop laughing inside. Of course the baby was going to be fine! But what a delight to be a grandparent and have the confidence of knowing that if you don’t get one of the many safety straps secure, it’s probably going to be totally ok. That type of confidence is totally missing from parents (or at least from me), but rock solid in grandparents. Awesome.

And that was our park outing on this Saturday afternoon!

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10 Moments in March

March made up for any low-key, quiet time in February. It was a busy month. But fun! March is birthday season, and it almost feels like Christmas, with a revolving door of donuts, cookies, and cake. Very grateful. We kicked off this first week of April with a ear-infection-cranky toddler, and I’m feeling drained. Rather than dwell on that, taking a moment to pause and remember ten things from March:

1) Janou turned 30!!

And decided to celebrate the new decade with us-which, on a Tuesday night, means Market Hall takeout and Jeopardy. Thanks, Janou! Cheers to the new decade :)

2) Diego’s Dance Party

 

A few days after Janou’s birthday, we celebrated Diego’s second birthday with a dance (…running around a room with music…) party with friends. We didn’t think Diego would be in to singing happy birthday with a bunch of people around. Well, he proved us WRONG.

3) Diego turned 2!

Diego turned 2 on March 12. It was an otherwise pretty normal Tuesday, but we had a little celebration with pancakes in the morning. His joy with his birthday celebration was an absolute delight.

4) Enjoying the second birthday.

I also found the marking of his second birthday just fun and delightful. Diego’s first birthday left me a weepy mess of emotions, full of reflections on his first year. It was really nice to just enjoy it all, and not be consumed by the hormone/exhaustion/emotion hangover that lasted much of those first 18 months. Its a very welcome change, and I’m grateful for the clear head to enjoy it all.

 

5) Getting ready for baseball!

This was a sweet moment I want to remember: our neighbors were playing catch in the driveway. Diego wanted to stay outside to watch them, so we did, but eventually my arms got tired holding him, and we went inside. He ran to the window and climbed on the couch to continue watching their game. I was secretly grateful for their entertainment and a few quiet minutes to unwind from the end of the day! Thanks, neighbors :)

6) A Saturday birthday

I turned 34 a few days after Diego’s birthday. We spent the weekend at the beach, thanks to Brian and Kirstin’s kind generosity. I have to say-a Saturday Birthday is amazing. Definitely something to look forward to. And add a beach and best friends to that Saturday birthday? And butter Chardonnay and a Susie Cake? I was as happy as Diego with a donut.

7) Beach sunset and these mamas

Monterrey was gorgeous. We lucked out with the weather and after a winter home in the rain, it was incredibly energizing to spend the weekend in the sun with these friends. I keep scrolling back on these photos dreaming of that gorgeous view and these wonderful people.

8) Diego cuddles

Not necessarily a highlight certainly a big part of spring m: toddler molars. We think they partially came in, but between that, and colds and allergies, Diego has been extra needy. Trying to remember to dole out and soak up the cuddles, especially when the fussiness wears on my patience.

9) Camp Dewberry!

This picture is actually from our apartment for Diego’s birthday, but it reminds me of the long weekend Diego spent at Camp Dewberry. We spent last weekend in Irvine and it was so nice to go for a long walk by the beach, feel WARM in the sun, and be together with Janou and my parents.

10) Beautiful LA

The purpose of the trip was Justice in Aging’s board meeting and fundraising event in LA. The event was an incredible success and I loved the brief time in downtown LA. With all the recent rain, the city is just sparkling and it was a treat to get a coffee from Grand Central Market, ride the Angels Flight funicular and marvel at the city.

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#OneMooreThomas

Happy two week wedding anniversary to Catherine and John!

It was a beautiful, whirlwind weekend, and before too much more time goes by, I want to be sure to remember it here.

I flew to DC Friday morning, excited for a fun trip to the city and ELATED to celebrate Catherine’s wedding. Christie and I both traveled solo, and it was so fun to enjoy a baby-free trip with a friend. Almost exactly two years prior to this photo being taken, we were DAYS away from becoming mothers-our babies were born five hours apart. Isn’t that wild?

The wedding hotel was the Mayflower, and arriving at the hotel, I felt so transported to classic DC-which was exactly the mood of the whole weekend.

Saturday morning, we all got ready and made our way to the church. The National Presbyterian Church was stunning.

Even more stunning? The beautiful bride! Everyone kept saying how breathtakingly lovely Catherine looked, and it was so true. The word that kept coming up over and over to describe Catherine was “grace.” Grace perfectly sums up Catherine. She’s a graceful person and was a beautiful, graceful bride.

It was so special seeing Catherine’s parents and their equally graceful excitement before the ceremony. Also, Jonah, the sweet ring-bearer is in the corner of this photo-he was darling!

After the ceremony, organ performance (!!), and sword ceremony, it was reception time!

One thing I LOVED: instead of a salad course, Catherine wanted a pasta course-genius. So, the evening began with delicious gnocchi :)

Catherine and her sister are incredible dancers, and their family always performs a sibling dance at weddings. This performance was pretty amazing:

Taryn and Jenna flew out for the wedding and it was so special to see them. I only wish we had more time to catch up, but I’m so grateful we were all together at the wedding.

The toasts were ALL great, and I especially loved when John and Catherine thanked their family and friends for attending and shared some more of their story. This moment is SO Catherine :)

I think I’ve used the word beautiful a bit too much here, but it truly was a beautiful day, full of so much love.

After a leisurely brunch on Sunday at the hotel, we all said goodbye to Catherine and John before they left for their honeymoon. How cool is this-John completely surprised Catherine with their honeymoon. As in she found out the destination THAT morning and they flew out THAT night. And he planned the whole thing. AND-they are honeymooning in Easter Island!! I can barely keep dinner plans a surprise, I can’t imagine planning a whole honeymoon. Incredible!

Christie hadn’t been to DC in over 20 years, and so, after the Farewell Brunch, we decided to do a Lightening Round DC Greatest Hits tour. The weather was miserable, and we only had 1.5 hour before she had to leave for her flight, so it was definitely a fast-track tour (with help from Lyft :)). We started at the Supreme Court, walked to the Capitol, walked down the Mall, picked one museum (American History), said hi to Julia Child’s kitchen, admired the First Lady exhibit, and took in the view of the Washington Monument (from the Mall). For me, it was a fun nostalgia tour, as I frequently walked that loop when we lived in DC, and a treat to show it to someone else.

(I love how Julia’s kitchen wraps around the kitchen table; you don’t see that much anymore. It’s so inviting.)

And-the best part-more best friend time! Katie and Dave kindly let me stay with them Sunday night in Alexandria. It was a delight to finally see their beautiful house and it was very special seeing Parker and Jack.

Meanwhile, at home…Diego kicked off March Birthday Month with a family party in Stockton. I love this picture of David and Diego. Excited to write more about all his second birthday festivities soon :)

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10 Moments in February

Even though we’re about a week in to March, it feels verrry February-ish, with the rainy, gray skies. That pretty much sums up February for us! Rainy, stuffy noses and colds, lots of soup and time at home. A few moments from when we left our little cocoon:

1) Free museum day at the OMCA: I’m no fan of Bank of America, but I do appreciate their recent initiative to sponsor museum’s with free admission every first weekend of the month. We spent a rainy Saturday morning at the museum, and Diego ran around all the exhibits, before brunch and a really good nap.

2) Weekday babysitting swaps: We love our daycare, but the early closing time is stressful. I’ve started trading a pickup day with another mom, and so we each have one day a week where we pickup the babies and watch them for an  hourish. I was most excited to have an early evening with a little extra time, and while that is wonderful, I actually really enjoy my day with the children. It is adorable watching them play-and they often hold hands walking home!!

3) Hualgar Super Bowl. The Huas hosted everyone for a Super Bowl party, and any opportunity to see these babies together makes my heart so happy.

4) President’s Day Weekend in Irvine: We stayed with my parents for the long weekend. We enjoyed a brief break from the rain and clouds, and Diego enjoyed lots of Saba and Abu Vero time.

5) Crystal Cove Beach Cottage: I’ve been trying to get a reservation for the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages for years. When I saw a room was available during our Irvine trip, I immediately reserved. And….it was an experience! The only available room was a dorm, which is definitely dorm-like. This is the whole room. But-outside that window-the ocean. A stunning view. David and I agreed that we wouldn’t stay in the dorm again, but I’m still on the hunt for a private cottage reservation. Someday! Because along with that ocean view, you have access to….

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6) Dinner at the Beachcomber! This was so fun. We walked from the room to the restaurant on the sand and enjoyed a nearly three hour long dinner (did I mention Diego stayed home with his grandparents? :)).  We could only get a 4:45 pm reservation, so we stretched out dinner to enjoy drinks, dinner and an incredible sunset. Maybe next time we’ll actually ask someone to take our photo together-this split screen dinner memory is ridiculous. I’m glad to have at least have this, as it was all a delight.

7) Morning beach walk. No words necessary, just the memory of the thrill of waking up and walking outside to this view.

8) Diego cuddles. David is definitely Diego’s favorite parent. I would say it is a phase…but it’s been going on for months, so….we’ll see. When David is home, Diego wants to be right by his side, and he rarely curls up with me. So, I definitely treasured these cuddles.

9) Almond blossoms! On the train to Sacramento, we zipped by almond orchards, and it made me realize spring is almost here. I’ll always associate the blossoms with those painstakingly long last few weeks before meeting Diego. It was almost exactly two years ago that we went for a drive to check out the blossoms in Stockton. So beautiful!

Ok, February is a short month, 9 moments sounds good to me. Happy March!

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