Redding weekend!

Last last Friday, I loaded up the car, picked up David at the train station, and we hit the road for Redding. Katie and Dave were in town with their sweet babies and Katie’s mom was kind enough to host all of us for a cozy weekend up north.

The weekend was particularly special as it was the first time Katie met Diego, and the first time I met Jack. It was equally thrilling to see Parker as a toddler. He’s running, chatting and bursting with a curious personality. I loved watching him check everything out, and Diego and Parker’s interactions were so sweet.

Running to see the ducks in the park:

And trying to coax Tucker (actually the grownups to let Tucker) come play:

I love traveling with friends with babies because a) it’s nice to have time to just laugh and chat about the amazing bonkersness of being new parents, and b) there’s certain consistent elements of baby-friend travel that are equally hilarious and sweet. They include:

1) The constant whirring of sound machines emanating from the bedrooms. Someone is always napping, trying to nap, or (in our case) failing to nap, and the shhhhsssshhhhsshhhhh white noise machine soundtrack is always on loop.

2) Baby monitors are the new cell phones. We forgot ours this time, but on previous trips, trying to decipher whose kid is crying on what monitor, can prove to be a quite a challenge. Also funny, looking around at everyone, “relaxing” after the babies are asleep, with a drink in one hand, and a video monitor in the other. Reminds me, I need to buy a travel monitor for upcomkng trips.

3) No story/thought/conversation is ever complete, rarely is everyone in the same room together (see above re napping), and you just soak up the snippets of stories you can get, in-between feeding, napping, and changing your kid for the zillionth time. (Pretty sure Diego had four outfit changes on Saturday).

4) Not having to do anything or go anywhere because all of your favorite people are in one place. This is THE BEST. Just being able to be cozy together, not worrying about the logistics of a get-together, just spending the whole day together, laughing, 

5) Seeing your babies together. Ok, actually this is the best. Looking at these little people, rolling on the floor, slapping Tupperware lids and blocks together, getting to know each other and thinking, are you kidding me? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were anxious law students, drinking Blueberry Dog beer in Fed Hill, and now my kid is balancing himself on your child’s high chair? When did all that happen? And how awesome is this?

It was all so special. Saturday night, Katie’s parents made an incredible Thanksgiving dinner. I’m still thinking about the cornbread stuffing. Kim and Charlie were also in town, and we all got to meet and admire adorable Isla. A baby photo shoot was clearly necessary. Just one take, and no coordination for this magic! (HA!):

After dinner, we all gathered around the fire pit and roasted s’mores. Ok, so add this to the list of an ideal weekend: having all your favorite people in one place + a warm fire pit. Also, Diego is such a wiggly little guy, he rarely sleeps on me anymore. So imagine my delight, enjoying a glass of my favorite wine, with wonderful friends, and a sleeping baby on my chest. Wonderful :)

Grateful for these friendships and the beauty of seeing the next generation together!


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Diego’s first Thanksgiving :)

Two of my favorite things: 1) turkey sandwiches and 2) spending the whole day at home, never getting in a car, surrounded by family. So, naturally, I love Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving was particularly special as we were with Abu and Diego! AKA The Incredible Napping/Meditating Duo:

As I mentioned, it was CRAZY hot in Irvine during Thanksgiving week. Roasting a turkey would have been miserable. So instead, my mom barbecued it!


And it was a brilliant idea! Slightly smokey, perfectly cooked and just delicious.

A few nights later, the turkey leftovers served as the perfect base for pasta shells with turkey, mushrooms, Abu’s tomato sauce and a dollop of Boursin cheese. SO GOOD.

Abu carving the turkey like a pro.
 Diego all dressed and ready for his first Thanksgiving dinner!

Later that evening, we all gathered around my mom’s pretty dining room table and enjoyed her delicious dinner. Going to save the 2017 NYT Thanksgiving Guide as it served as the inspiration for several dishes and they were INCREDIBLE. It was all so delightful-kale salad, wild rice and mushrooms, brussels sprouts, green beans, mashed potatoes and turkey.  Thanks, Mom :)

Grateful we all got to be together. And thrilled to celebrate this wonderful holiday with this sweet baby :)

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Thanksgiving vacation

We’re on our way home after an excellent week with family in Irvine. I’m not sure if it was seeing the ocean almost every day, all the extra help with Diego, or just the comfort of hanging out and relaxing with family, but I’m grateful to be returning to Stockton much more level-headed than when I left last Sunday.

We flew down Sunday morning, and Diego’s face says it all: Really, Mom? You think it’s a good idea to fly with a teething baby? Gooood luck…
Thankfully, he was actually great on the flight. The next few days though…Poor guy had four teeth trying to break through and all the congestion and sleeplessness that accompany that process.

After Mom and Abu picked us up from the airport, we drove to lunch in La Jolla at Sugar and Scribe (delicious!!) and enjoyed a bit of fresh air by the ocean.

On Monday, Abu, Diego and I checked out Sherman Gardens.

and relaxed for a bit at Crystal Cove.

The weather was unbelievable-actually, kind of scary unbelievable. It was so hot-hitting 90 degrees!-so I tried to get to the ocean each day to cool off and admire the view.  On Tuesday, Abu and I split a chocolate shake and lunch at Ruby’s Shake Shack. It still amazes me that for the price of a milkshake and burger, you can enjoy lunch with that spectacular view.

Diego was still pretty fussy, so I was especially grateful for Abu aka the Baby Nap Whisperer, as she helped calm him down and nap each day.

On Wednesday, my mom had the day off, so we all celebrated an early Thanksgiving with lunch at my favorite place: The Beachcomber.

David drove down on Wednesday night, and Thursday we all celebrated Thanksgiving! Hope to write about the day separately. 

On Friday, Janou and Max arrived post-honeymoon in Kauai. Max made us brunch and we all relaxed together before David and I left for our first mini-getaway since having a baby. Hope to write about that, too-it was a great quick trip to Laguna Beach. We enjoyed a low-key family day on Saturday before driving up super early this morning.

It was a wonderful week of family time, incredible food (thanks, Mom!!) and much needed rest. Halfway through the week, Diego’s teeth broke through and he was back to his sweet happy-camper self. It felt so nice to spend the week with so many eager hands ready to scoop up Diego, and play with him, allowing David and I some time to actually relax. It’s been an intense and tiring fall and so this week in Irvine was a VERY welcome respite from the day-to-day rush.

So thankful for my family and this special week together! 

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Season of gratitude 

Diego, my grandma, Abu, and I went to Crystal Cove this afternoon. We were sitting on a picnic bench, on the overlook, staring at the gorgeous blue water, when Diego reached out for Abu’s hand. 

He was fascinated by her watch, but seeing him grasp on to her hand, and sitting between the two of them, between the hands that represent four generations, while looking out at the ocean-it was pretty moving.

It’s Thanksgiving week, and I’m looking forward to reflecting. Very grateful for this precious moment, and these special people.

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November-first 1/2

Next week is Thanksgiving! Before it’s full-on holiday season, wanted to remember the quieter weekends during this first half of November.

We’ve been mostly hanging out at home, which is great since we’re all pretty tired by the time Friday rolls around. Still, I’m getting a little cabin-feverish and looking forward to going to SF on Saturday.

At the beginning of the month we went to a fundraiser for Puentes Farm at Bogg’s Tract. The tractor was just begging for a baby-photo shoot…

Diego greeted the chickens :)

Hanging out around the house..

​On Saturday, we packed a picnic and spent the afternoon at Oak Farm Vineyards. The winery has a stunning outdoor fireplace, and it warmed the whole patio on the crisp afternoon.

Diego is moving so much, I’m not sure how many more “hang out in the stroller while we sip wine” outings are in our future…but enjoying it for now!

Happy Wednesday!

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