Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sierra Madre Park-Tuesday

Yesterday afternoon, Greg and I decided to make time to take Mila to a park, for a true park visit-for the first time! She absolutely loved it. This particular park is beautiful. Rec center, nice pool, playground, softball field, dog park, rolling hills, school on one side & cemetery on the next(!) I absolutely love Sierra Madre. 
Mila LOVED the swing and wasn't afraid to go high and fast. She also loved the slide, she loved playing with the bark chip beneath her feet, walking on the paths, pushing Greg's basketball around, watching the big kids, everything.

Americana Monday

On Monday, my parents headed down to Laguna Beach for two nights, so I left work at 1pm-the usual time that Greg drops Mila off in Burbank (he works at 2pm). I really felt like getting out & walking around since it was such a perfect day, so Mila and I went to the Americana. We've been sitting on a Cheesecake Factory gift card for like, 2 years, so I decided to treat myself to a restaurant meal. No offense to Mila, but she made my meal by staying asleep in her stroller the entire time! I had a surprisingly good salad off their 'Skinnylicious' menu, some lemon water, and ended with a cappucino! Fancy times! ;) I decided to take a photo of the kid's menu b/c it made me realize how I'm really not looking forward to pretty much giving her the same options everytime we visit a restaurant now. This is our future...? Grilled cheese, chicken strips...
Once I finished my meal, I headed straight for Anthropology, and I was scouring the sale racks, little fingers peeked out of the blanket covering the stroller and I found her awake, smiling and sweaty. Nice bedhead, Mila!
I figured she'd love the water 'feature' and sure enough, she was completely obsessed with it. So cool. Gotta love free entertainment.

'Bye, Mommy!'.....This girl is fearless...
Very excited to see and hear the approaching trolley!!

Exploring foods

It's comforting to know that I'm not alone. Each time I get together with a fellow mommy friend, we mutually feel the need to discuss meal ideas with each other and see if we can bounce off any new ideas. It's easy to think, now that we pretty much have 'toddlers' (holy moly) that they can pretty much eat whatever we do. Which is true. But what about the nights when I want a spicy curry? Or when I want corn nachos? Those were two recent indulgences that I wasn't comfortable sharing with her. So I need to always have backup plans for her-stuff that's easy to choose (no molars yet-tortilla chips are not an option!) stuff that's healthy (even if I'm letting myself eat junk) stuff that's balanced (protein, carbs, veggies....already I'm struggling with making sure that my kid eats enough veggies). These are some recent findings (duh I'm pretty much strictly a TJ's shopper but sometimes wander around Sprouts or Whole Foods). 
-Slices of cheese are a great source of calcium & protein, plus more importantly (ha) she can feed this to herself while I'm getting something done such as washing the dishes or prepping dinner. Such a great distraction! er, appetizer ;)
-Year One, parents are strictly told to avoid nuts/nut butters since allergies are so common. Even now, her pediatrician pushed us away from serving her peanut butter since there's a high choking risk due to it's stickiness. We've found that these little sandwiches are perfect since, admittedly, the pb is practically a powder, so there's no concern for it getting stuck to the roof of her mouth. Perfect snack on-the-go, too
-TJ's has done it again-an amazing easy, already prepped, just needs sauteeing, mashed sweet potatoes. There is literally not one other ingredient in the bag. They look like hockey pucks as they melt down, but to me, they're genious. 
-Quinoa, sadly, is not a favorite of mine (the taste, look, and texture just kinda bug me) but it's a complete protein, and gluten free, so I love giving it to her with a puree, and knowing that it makes up for all the bagels and toast and crackers she eats.  (Mixing it with a puree, such as pear sauce or mashed zucchini, is necessary so that it doesn't crumble everywhere)


Sunday Funday with my 'Italy Girls' at Heather's new home in Monrovia. When I did my semester abroad with PCC, TEN YEARS AGO(!) I became, and still am, very close with Heather, Ileen, and Cindy (and Mary! Who was just absent that day). It's comically/awfully difficult for us to find the time to get together, but when we do it's as if no time has passed. Heather is pregnant with a girl, Hazel Juliana, who is due in July. She and her hubby just found the CUTEST little home that I'm quite envious of. Reminds me a lot of our place (multiple little homes on one lot, two bedroom one bath, no shared walls, parking spot, garage, washer dryer-yet they have grass in their backyard, the cutest pup Mr. Smee (he and Mila got along just fine...sharing crackers and string cheese) the cutest picnic table, market lights above, and then inside it's hardwood floors and and and.....Central A/C. What I wouldn't give to have central air. It's been warm lately, and I'm regretting Summer and longing for Fall...even though it's only April. I'm in trouble.
Anyway, Heather made turkey burger patties from scratch, we wolfed down bruschetta, drank down wine, and may or may not have watched the Justin Bieber movie....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Well, I guess I'm in the blogging mood today! Wanted to get one last post in before finishing the work week. 
Mila woke up early this morning, and then we had the playdate, so by naptime she was wiped out. We both laid down for awhile. Afterward, I decided to take her outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and repair my damaged succulent (a peacock trampled it!) :( So I said, 'Mila, do you want to go outside?' and she pointed to the door and then went over and grabbed her shoes! It's just wild how much language she can understand
Once I replanted my cuttings, I dragged out the house to water all of my bedding plants & potted plants. Mila was so interested in all the fallen leaves and the grass blades. She began exploring, and walking toward the water puddles and mud that I was creating. Then she walked through the water. Then she bent down and started splashing it. And she was having such a great time that I couldn't imagine stopping her. Clothing is meant to be laundered. She had such a ball, it was too cute. 
Afterward, we washed up and I made myself some hearty curry. We went for a walk, and now she's asleep & I'm waiting for Greg to come home. Life is good.   

This morning, we had our friends Timithie, Eva, and Eleanor over for a play-date (and mommy catch-up. and meet the new baby time). Timithie used to work at Descanso. She's the one who turned me onto the breastfeeding support group back in the day, and she's also the one that took us to a private swim club in August for Mila's first swim. 
Eva is 17 months old, and her new sis Eleanor is 2 months old. We had such a blast having them over. Eva shared her mini pb sandwich cracker sandwiches-a first for Mila! And Mila shared her avocado. They read books, pulled apart post-it stacks, and waddled about while I got to hold the little little baby, and share toddler meal ideas with Timithie. 
We look forward to seeing them again soon. I'll try harder next time to get a good photo of the three, or even two, of them. Not easy! 
Tuesday tradition: Pick up dinner at the Heirloom LA food truck, parked outside a wine shop in Old Town, and eat across the street at Memorial Park. Highlights: a different menu every week, lasagna cupcakes, bird and dog watching (for Mila) and yeah, lasagna cupcakes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

This is about as exciting as it gets around here these days. A successful evening goes like this: 
Gas station, market, cook dinner, eat dinner, play, easy bedtime. 

We visited Greg at work tonight which usually takes at least 45 minutes due to everyone wanting to come up and say hi to Mila (which is awesome of course) and then moments of Mila wanting to get out of the cart so I hold her but then remember how hard it is to steer a shopping cart with one hand, then I'm working off my grocery list but of course am very distracted and then we see Greg a bit here and there as we turn circles around the store and then we're packing up and more goodbyes and loading up the car and unloading the car and putting away groceries and and....

So tonight I made a Weight Watchers-friendly dinner and it was so yummy that I made it unfriendly in the WW department b/c I couldn't. stop. eating. the. purple. potatoes. 

Tonight's dinner: sliced grilled chicken (precooked) sauteed with yellow squash. Steamed green beans, butter. Boiled, and then smashed, yellow purple & red potatoes. 

Tonight's indulgences: small glass of red wine, small 'mini ice cream cone.'

Many people ask me how our cats are around Mila. They do just fine, especially Auggie (pictured here). He lets Mila pat him and kiss him and pat him and pull on his ears. Cleo, well, she's just a you-know-what anyway, so she tends to just run away. 

And so sums up my typical night.  


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Haircut time! I'm tired of my wavy, frizzy messy bun. I'm tired of straightening such long locks. I'm ready for a long bob. Usually I like a more drastic cut, closer to my chin. I'm learning that, ironically, shorter hair is harder, so I'm opting for something that will hopefully look cute whether I straighten it or not-and of course something that can also just be pulled back into a ponytail. Whether I trim my bangs or grow them out is up for debate. 
These are the exciting things that I think about after Mila has gone to bed, and before Greg gets home from his night shift. 
(all images via Pinterest) 
It's been an active Saturday! Despite the overcast weather, I've enjoyed outside activity....starting with my 'mommy & me' exercise class (which I choose not to bring Mila to, that I can actually get some exercise done instead of trying to keep her entertained). The class is held at a park down in/near the Arroyo-essentially, tucked beneath the hills of South Pasadena. I love the morning drive there, past the old, brick Red Cross building, down winding streets filled with craftsman-style homes, and through the baseball fields filled with bouncing kids and sleepy parents. The class itself is so intimate-typically, just the instructor (who was a Descanso bride of mine last year! and is now pregnant!) and my friend Cassandra (Lucian's mom....we met in prenatal yoga...she also opts to leave Lucian at home) So it's usually just the three of us looking like weirdos doing squats and funky (read: bad) push-ups in the middle of a park. 
With no plans for this afternoon/evening, I texted Julie and we decided on walking the Silverlake Reservoir at 3pm. It turned out to be the perfect plan-she lives near Atwater Village so we just took Fletcher over & were there super quick, found great parking, the weather was perfect-it was a great (almost) 2 mile power walk around the body of water and through the hipsters and past the super-crowded, smelly, and cute dog park. 
After our walk, we decided that iced coffees were in order so we drove down to Lamill, a coffee shop I've always wanted to go to. Next door is the cutest shop called Yolk, so we browsed and wished that we had an expendable income that would allow for us to drop $49.00 on a dessert plate. The photo up top is from the baby section of that store, which was filled with felt mobiles and banners, handmade rompers, raccoon stuffed animals and a ton of cute books. I'll definitely want to return.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

So, it's gotten to the point where it's starting to look strange to see Mila crawling as opposed to walking. Just in this past week or two, she's really upped her walking game. It was fun to watch her go from taking a few sloppy steps here and there, to taking 5-10 in a row (with arms way up overhead for balance) to suddenly, this realization that she had-where it became obvious that she was aware of this new skill, and determined to do it. From that point on, it was full speed ahead, and I'd say she's walking at least 80% of the time. Her method of choice is to be barefoot, though we do have two pairs of shoes that she'll tolerate. Yet we knew early on that she has a constant urge to take her socks off, so she's arguably our hippie child. There have been a few spills here and there of course, yet nothing awful-and typically, she falls back on her bum and is back up in no time. Some people have asked if we've baby proofed. We have yet to go through the house room by room, on our knees, as all the books say to do. We're aware of her tendencies and just baby proof as we go. I think that the outlet covers have been the only thing we've installed so far, so otherwise it's been more about moving fragile items up onto shelves. She's discovered the toilet seat lid and the cupboard doors leading to all the cleaning supplies under the sink, so those will get locked up soon. She knows not to go in that cupboard anyway....She always looks at me slyly before opening the door. I sternly say 'no' and she closes it fast. So I guess you can say my method of baby proofing has been to always be in the same room with her which I can't imagine otherwise, even if/when that cupboard gets locked.
Lastly, her 14 month birthday is tomorrow! As all parents love to say, 'where does the time go!?'

Sunday, April 7, 2013

We're baaaaack!

Let's pretend that I didn't just take a 5+ month hiatus from blogging, shall we??