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 :)

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