California living.

We’re here. Our new home just north of  San Francisco. If I’m totally honest, I kinda like it here. The area is beautiful, the people are great, and our little apartment is really cute. But…it’s not home home. It’s lacking things like my mom, my friends, my job, green chile, etc etc. I am giving myself a couple more days to mope and then I’m pulling up the big girl panties and moving on.

Wanna hear about the 1,100 mile road trip with a toddler? It was actually ok. So here’s what you need: an iPad or DVD player (we had an iPad); snacks; sippy cups; books; my iPhone; and another pair of hands (aka my mom). For serious, if my mom hadn’t come, I would have been screwed. Majorly. She reset the Daniel Tiger episodes on the iPad, handed out snacks, sang him songs…you get the picture. And if you have hang ups about your kids watching TV, you will get over that hang up about 2 minutes into a late-April snow/ice storm in Northern Arizona. That damn Tiger possibly quite literally saved our lives. I love the child more than life itself but that high-pitched scream he belts out when he wants something is enough to fray even the steeliest of nerves.

Another thing that made it doable was stopping every evening for the night. My preferred method of travel is usually “get in the car and don’t stop until you need gas.” That’s just not feasible when you have a toddler who loves his routine. Speaking of which, he stayed on his nap schedule in the car. Fell asleep at nap time, awake for the rest of the day until bed time. Henry even took to his time zone like a champ. I am lucky that he’s transitioned seamlessly into his new California life. I was dreading the long nights and messed up schedules, but nah, it’s the same (if not a little better, really).

On Sunday, we drove the half hour to the City. The trip brought back all of those feelings of love I have for San Francisco. It’s an amazing place. But it felt surreal that I wouldn’t be going home with my mom, back to New Mexico. I know I’ll get used to it soon and I really am excited for all of the fun stuff we are going to do as a family here. Really, I am. Lucky you will get to read all about them, too!

My mom stayed until yesterday. She helped me unpack and organize our apartment as well as teach her culinary-challenged daughter a few easy recipes. Dropping her off at the airport yesterday was SO SAD. I basically moped around feeling sorry for myself for the rest of the day. It’s kinda pretty pathetic. But driving over the Golden Gate Bridge twice on the way and way back was pretty awesome. And coming over the hills into Marin and Sonoma Counties is really spectacular, too. Imagine lots of green, rolling hills and cows. And some trees. I’m an awful writer, but believe me, it’s really pretty.

Now, I’ve got my laptop set up at the dining room table, all ready to get to work tomorrow. My awesome boss/friend Derek has let me continue my employment from home, which is good because babysitters. We don’t have ’em.

There are pictures, but I am too tired to get them on this computer tonight. Don’t panic though, I’ll be back with lots and lots of pics soon. I am sure you were just rife with worry until I reassured you. (smiley face) Also, sorry for the jumbled thoughts. I’ll try to get my act together quickly.

Goodnight!

Advertisements

Our first family vacation.

Last month, our little family of three got up at the ungodly hour of 4 am to catch a 6:30 am flight to Florida. I was nervous and exhausted. Thankfully, the baby was not happy about getting up so early and slept almost the entire time to Florida, waking up to play in the Atlanta airport, then right back to sleep before take-off again.

henry aiport 2

We had a great time visiting my dad and step-mom. Side note: my dad is very ill right now and going on week 3 in the ICU, so to say that I am very happy with our timing is an understatement.  I hope, and in my heart know, he will get better and go home soon, but I’m just glad he got to see Henry at this age. Henry loved crawling around his house and playing with his dog and kitties. And for the most part, he ate what we ate, and he really enjoyed eating new foods.

henry aquarium

Of course, we went to the beach. We were only there for about an hour because when it’s baby’s naptime, it’s baby’s naptime. I’m sure parents out there understand. He wasn’t having any of the sleeping in the shade at the beach either. But whatever, he loved the water and ate a fair amount of sand, so I’d say it was a success.

beach yoda

 

henry beach

henry TJ

I also got to visit with a couple old friends of mine and by far that was the highlight of the trip.  (Henry with his Auntie TJ above)

The flight home started great. Henry slept during the first flight from Florida to Atlanta, but I had to sing Elmo’s Song over and over and over and over (sorry other passengers) to get him to sleep.  The second (and longest) leg from Atlanta to New Mexico, he slept the first half and then woke up READY TO ROCK AND READY TO ROLL. Thankfully, he was giggly and funny, but very squirmy and wanted down. We let him hang out between our legs and the flight attendant held him for a little while, which passed some time. I’d say it was a success because we didn’t have any meltdowns (well Henry didn’t, I’m another story).

henry flight attendant

 

henry plane

 

One thing I’ve learned from the experience (and my husband did too), is that people need to have more compassion to crying babies/kids on planes. I’ll never complain again. When a kid has a tantrum, there’s very little a parent can do, and often, the cabin pressure and altitude changes hurt their ears and freak them out. We got a lot of comments about how good Henry was, but the looks on people’s faces when they saw they were seated next to ours was pure annoyance. Just cut people some slack, mmmkay?

A couple weeks ago, Henry also attended his first wedding. He had a tough time sitting still for the ceremony and we ended up checking out a tree for a little while. But he LOVED LOVED LOVED the reception. He made a new friend in one of my old co-worker’s 11 year old son, he danced with mom and dad, and had a tiny taste of wedding cake. We left the party at around 9 pm, which is WAY past his normal bedtime, but you wouldn’t know it. No tears, no meltdowns, he was as happy as a clam. We gave him his bath, he fit in some playtime and then crashed. Crashed hard. It was cute.

henry suspendersHe also looked really handsome.

Nerd training in progress.

Henry is fighting a nap right now, so while he’s jumping until he passes out (here’s to hoping), I’m actually on a computer and thought I’d do a quick picture post.

We took him to his first Comic Expo this weekend. My husband has his own online comic and of course, loves comic books, so we had to go. I’m really glad we went, even though it was super crowded and not suited for a stroller, but it was still fun. Also, the ABQ Comic Con is like 1/100th the size of SoCal’s or NYC’s or…most of the other ones. Here’s a quick re-cap.

Henry slept for the first 30-40 minutes, which astonished me because it was LOUD up in there. There was this announcer guy whose voiced boomed across the arena. If you were talking to someone at a table when this dude started talking, you just had to wait. It was that loud.

henrysleeping

 

When he woke up, we decided to just carry him around so he could take it all in. We went to the Mouse Guard booth and boy, did they love Henry. They even tweeted  out his picture!

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 10.48.55 AMWe ended up buying that book for him, too.

After some more walking and talking, it was time for a break. We spotted some chairs in the corner of the convention center and sat down to feed the monster. My husband also won extra points by taking Henry into the men’s room to change him. One of the original Power Rangers was in there at the same time, which was cool? I guess.

lunchbreak

closeup

After that, I decided to let Chris go get his nerd on solo and walked Henry around the permitter where it was less claustrophobic. After two hours of extreme stimulation, he had enough. Shoes came off, shade came down, eyes closed.

exhausted

He’s a good little companion.

 

Colorado and goodbyes.

I was so excited to go out of town last week, even if it was for a night. Chris and I love travelling together and we always have a blast. It could be because we leave our mundane worries at home or it could just be we enjoy each others company. Either way, it’s awesome.

On Friday, we drove 200 miles to Durango, CO — one of my favorite places on planet Earth. That might seem like a long way to go for 24 hours, but honestly, we really enjoy the road trip part of it just as much as the destination. Northern New Mexico is gorgeous (and quirky), and we have fun having long conversations and laughing. We did not turn on the radio or play tunes from the iPhone. Nope. We just talked. Brilliant nuggets of convos such as: “Chris, these rocks could be petrified Dinosaur poop. I’m not a scientist, but it kind of looks like it.”

When we arrived in Durango, it was pouring rain. We didn’t care though. We pulled out my old pink Umbrella that I got at a Walgreens in San Francisco years ago. Chris held it for us. Another reason why I love him: he doesn’t give a s–t  about holding a pepto pink umbrella in broad daylight.

Downtown Durango is great. Lots of cool boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops…you get it. We stopped into the Old Tymer’s Cafe, which we later found out is co-owned by Christopher Lloyd. We had no idea, but had we known, we would have sought it out for sure (big Back to the Future fans in this household). The food was really great, too.

Outside of the Durango train station. This picture is very American.

Afterwards we did a lot of walking. I shopped in a cute little baby store and we went to a couple clothing stores. My leg was doing it’s burning/numbing routine, but I sucked it up. It’s my vacation! So off we headed to the Animas River to walk around some more. And some more.

I want to live here.

Swelling in process. 

By the time we checked into our hotel, my WHOLE BODY was swollen. I looked in the mirror and actually kinda scared myself. And the cankles? I’ve never seen anything like it. Instead of Mayor of Cankle Town, Chris said I was the Professor Emeritus of National Cankle University. I totally was. But this time, it was all over my body. My wrists starting hurting really bad shortly thereafter, which is a common complaint when retaining water. Nice.

Oh! I did have a hormonal moment: as we we were walking along the river, a very pretty blonde cyclist passed us and smiled at me. I immediately burst into tears because my leg was numb, I was swollen, and felt gross. Chris of course just hugged me and told me I was not gross, I was carrying his baby, and to shut up. (Ok, he didn’t tell me to shut up, he was actually really sweet, but I am sure you are sick of hearing about that).

He really is sweet, though.

The next morning, we did more of the day before: shopping, eating, and walking along the river before we headed home. We were happy to get home to our Quincy. She was happy to see us, too.

And exhausted. She passed out on the baby clothes I was putting away.

Yesterday, we said goodbye (or see ya later) to one of my best friends, Park. He has decided to get the hell out of Albuquerque and finally have some adventures. Park has always been there for me and supported all my decisions, so even though I was bummed to see him go, he’s got my full support. He deserves it. When I moved to LA in 2006, he came out to visit me with his brother Sam and spent the entire day with me going to the Getty Museum, Universal Studios, and Santa Monica Boardwalk. He even insisted on buying me a new watch so I wouldn’t be late for my new job. He’s, simply put, a wonderful person and I’ll miss him a lot…until October when he’s coming back for my baby shower. He promised. Now that it’s in writing, he can’t back out.

Getty Museum, 2006.

Last night. Outfits very similar. 

Checking in.

Just a quick note. Chris and I went out of town for a night and it was wonderful. I will post some pics and blog more about it later. The cankles did come along for the trip.

Now, I gotta get run some errands and get ready for a good friend’s going away party. More on that later as well.

In the meantime, here are the clothes  I am taking to Goodwill. I cleaned out the closet to make room for baby boy’s stuff.

We still have a lot to do.