Saturday, February 26, 2011

february = birthday madness

somehow, the shortest month of the year is the one jam packed with the most birthdays!  between anthony and i, we have 16 friends and family with birthdays in february (including me, nolan and anthony)!  seriously.  that's nuts.  as the birthday month quickly comes to a close, i feel spread a little thin.  and, i don't mean financially...though with nolan turning one this year, i would say we are that too.  :)  i'm worn out!  but, it WAS fun.  i already wrote the play by play of my bday in a previous blog, so i'll save you that.

this last week was the culmination of it all, starting on sunday, the 20th.  we celebrated nolan's first birthday (a couple of days early) with family and friends at the park.  after two days of stormy, rainy weather, the clouds parted and we had a beautiful, slightly warm day filled with so much love.  up to this point, we have been very careful and conscious of what foods he eats.  we figure, he has years and years later in life to eat whatever junk he wants and we hope that if we start him out with a good, healthy, varied and balanced diet that it will lay a foundation for healthy eating habits for life.  i didn't want to throw all that out just because it was his birthday.  so, i decided that i would make his cake.  i found a recipe on the website wholesomebabyfood.com (http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/tipFirstBDay.htm) and made a cake of molasses, applesauce, flour and spices, whipped up a modified cream cheese frosting (cream cheese, agave nectar and a tiny bit of maple syrup)  and topped it with sliced kiwi.  i made one for the other little ones too!  he had such a fun time playing with his buddies on the giant assembled blanket, munching on fruit and puffs and shocked me by how much he enjoyed 35 people singing "happy birthday" to him!  he even clapped after they finished!  he was absolutely amazing throughout the whole thing staying awake long beyond nap time.  on the mile drive home, it took him a mere two blocks to fall asleep.  :)

playing solo before his guests arrived


 splash, splash, splash

 baby's custom cake :)

 "yay, thanks for singing to me!"

 hmmm...

yummmm...

 sleepy boy...so tired after his big day!

two days later, on his actual bday, the three of us went to the la zoo. he fell asleep after an hour or so, missing all the cool (awake) animals, so after he woke up and we finished the loop o' animals, we doubled-back to the gorillas, lions, giraffes, elephants and chimps so he could see them too!  it has been more than 10 years since i was last at a zoo.  parts of it were SO cool, but there is something slightly disconcerting about all those amazing animals in such small quarters.  and some of them without a buddy to play with!  :(  but, sad-face aside, it was really cool.  most of the animals were so close to us!  not really sure how safe that is, but i suppose they have it all worked out.  the other interesting thing to me was what a totally different experience it was than going to the oregon zoo; different animals, different feel completely.  each has their own pros, i guess, but i think i prefer the oregon zoo.  i am, however, looking forward to seeing what the san diego zoo is all about. of all the animals, the chimps and gorillas were my favorite.  it was so neat to watch them interact.  hard to argue with the theory of evolution, i gotta say. 
nolan's special bday breakfast: egg yolk face, cheddar cheese hair, grape eyes, puff nose and a peach mouth :)

 la zoo...here we come!

 checking out the alligator

 meerkats

 stinky, stinky flamingos

 yay!

 tortoise so close i literally could have touched him


" meow"

 rhino booty

 bored, lonely monkey

 conked out

 chimps

 a little chimp lovin'

 so close!!

 "i love the zoo!"

 papa gorilla posing for baby nolan

 "woah, ma did you see that thing?"

 checking out the elephant from dad's shoulders

the end of the day...

two more days later, it was anthony's 30th!  i bugged him and bugged him about what he wanted to do for his bday, but he assured me time and again that he just wanted to lay low.  so, that is just what we did.  nolan was up at 6:00 and he and i headed to the grocery store at 7:30 to shop for the big day.  we came home and made the pioneer woman's migas (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/09/ree-drummond-migas/) and they were delicious.  nolan took a nap.  we went for a family walk down to get coffee and an old fashion donut, ran into a couple of friends, returned home, another friend came over to visit for a bit, then i cooked the rest of the day/evening.  we had fried chicken (from pioneer woman's cookbook), red "smashed" potatoes (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/?s=smashed+potatoes&submit=) that i felt i needed to add cheddar cheese to (a great decision), sauteed green beans, and wedge salads for dinner and i made pots de creme (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/?s=pots+de+creme&submit=) with amaretto for dessert, but we didn't eat it until the next day (thank goodness for the pioneer woman as i used four of her recipes in one day)! nolan had a super-rough bedtime (not ideal when trying to fry chicken for your hubby's bday) and we didn't eat until 8:00ish (though i prepped some earlier in the afternoon and started cooking at 3:30) and the whole dinner thing was a bit of an ordeal (similar to my bday...) but yummy.  we vowed that next year, we will go out for both of our birthdays. :)


the next day (yesterday), we had our friend michael (nolan's godfather) over for dinner.  well, kind of.  he brought us dinner.  delicious, delicious korean food (homemade by his mama!) to celebrate his bday (feb. 18th), my bday (5th) and anthony's (24th).  he even gave me a tutorial on my new iphone.  nice.

tomorrow, the bday business continues.  we are heading out to san bernardino for the day to visit anthony's grandparents (who unfortunately were ill and unable to make it to nolan's party) and to celebrate all our bdays plus anthony's mom's bday (feb. 25th!).  

BIG. WEEK.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

getting back on the wagon

well, hmmm...that didn't take long.  last week, i fell off.  :)  my resolutions (made in february) included blogging more and meditating daily.  it is now february 23rd and i'm picking them up off the ground, dusting them off and bringing them with me back onto the wagon.  (running, however, has managed to stay put rather well...as long as i get out again in the next day or two, so it isn't all bad news)

tonight, i meditated for the first time in at least five days and it felt great.  it is funny how the times when i am going crazy with plans and things to do and need it the most are the times when i just can't seem to fit it in.  planning a one-year-old's bday party is nearly like planning a wedding (or i am assuming...we didn't have the traditional big wedding, so our planning was rather minimal)!  but, it was worth it (the party, i mean...of course our wedding was worth it too, but that is another post).  we had such a lovely time on sunday playing with all our family and a few friends too!  what a lucky little boy we have to be surrounded by SOOOOOOO much love! 

and here i am blogging about it all...so, officially back on. now...hopefully the next blog will be more entertaining.  tonight, i'm just too sleepy from processing the fact that nolan is 1!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

obama mama

admittedly i am not as well-versed in the political happenings as i would like to be...or certainly as much as i should be, but i do know this...obama made my day yesterday.  :)

anthony came home from work with a book of new information regarding our health insurance through his company.  effective march 1st, 2011, we have some fantastic changes! some things what weren't fully covered before are now.  some things that required a co-pay before no longer do.  prescriptions are now more affordable.  AND because we have medical insurance, we will now also (for no extra cost) have vision and dental insurance!  sweet! 


dear mr. obama:

thank you for your services thus far.

sincerely, 
kimberly lam, obama mama of santa monica

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

valentine's day

i think valentine's day gets a bad rap.  yeah, sure it is super commercialized, but what is so bad about encouraging people to show their love some lovin'?  alright, yes...i agree, every day should be valentine's day, but perhaps that just isn't the case with some relationships and it is nice to have a little reminder to man (or woman) up and show how much you love and appreciate your partner.  so, that being said...happy valentine's!

we had a lovely morning filled with a beautiful card, a dozen roses and a cup of decaf (no...i'm not pregnant, just don't drink caffeine) for me from anthony and cocoa, heart-shaped pancakes for anthony (alright, both of us) from me...complete with homemade chocolate frosting, homemade cinnamon-infused whipped cream, peanut butter (not homemade), chopped hazelnuts, godiva chocolate shavings and (un-needed) pure maple syrup.  oh...and cranberry/prosecco mimosas.  it was delicious and not very nutritious! however, i did put some ground golden flax seeds in the pancakes to make myself feel better!

this picture would be better if it would let me flip it...i don't get why it does that sometimes and not others...anyway

that was pretty much the height of the day.  shortly after our sweethearts' meal, anthony had to go to work...twice.  so, nolan and i hung out the rest of day, afternoon and the evening.  he conked out on me around 7:15, then i meditated, watched "the bachelor" and worked on party favors for out little one-year-old's bday party.  nice.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

two arms swinging

last night before bed, anthony promised me that before he had to go to work in the morning, i could go for a run...without nolan!  don't get me wrong, i love my little man, but pushing that stroller is intense!  so, i told myself, "self, no matter what time you are awakened in the morning, you are going for a run at 7:00!"

here's how it went down:

4:30am: nolan wakes up
4:30-5:15am: i try to convince nolan to lay back down and sleep more
5:15(ish)am: nolan falls back to sleep. sort of.
6:00am: nolan is up for good...no use trying to convince him otherwise
6:00-7:00am: nolan entertained me and the video camera with chatter, standing and all kinds of fun with cups, the laundry basket and a balloon.
7:00am: "good morning, daddy!...here's your baby!"
7:15am: hair back, running shoes on, out the door

the sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky!  air was a bit cool in the ol' lungs, but i suppose that's better than hot in the lungs, eh? i ran to the beach and along the ocean front path to the santa monica pier and back, rounding out at an even three miles.  stunning.  absolutely stunning.  and while it was fantastic to be able to swing both arms (especially up the hills on the way home) and nice to have a little bit of time to just let my mind wander, i missed the company of my little fella and having him distract me from my "oh gosh, how much further do i have to go?" thoughts.  so, next grand scheme: get anthony to come with me.  that way i have company of two fine fellows and get to swing two arms for at least half the time!  :)

here's a little taste of nolan goodness from this morning.  :)

video

Thursday, February 10, 2011

peace within

i received an email last night from a good friend.  it was forward that told me i had to pass it on or i would explode (alright...not really explode, but you know what i'm talking about), but had a wonderful message and was just what i needed to hear so i wanted to share...

"May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself, just the way you are.  Let this knowledge settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

new year's resolutions...

resolutions, resolutions.  no, you did not travel back in time to read this post;  it really is february 9th, 2011.  just as brad decided not to give a rose on the group date during monday night's "bachelor," i just needed some more time to think about it.  :) 

november and december are so crazy with thanksgiving, planning for christmas, decorating for christmas, celebrating christmas, family in town, traveling, etc. that all of a sudden it is new year's eve and i haven't had a minute to sit, reflect on the previous year, and plan out how to better myself in the year to come.  so, after a month of recovery from the wind down of 2010, i'm ready to make some resolutions.  the only down side?  now i only have 11 months instead of 12 to keep them all...or maybe that is the upside...hmmm...

so, with no further ado, here's my list of resolutions for 2011...not necessarily in order of importance.


*in general, be a better person.  generic and seemingly thought-less, i know, but this is the overarching goal of what is to come out of all the resolutions that follow.

*practice patience with every person that i encounter.  i find that (most of the time) i have endless patience with nolan, but less so with adults.  yes, while it should, theoretically, require less patience to interact with adults, that is not necessarily always the case. ;) -- the above statement in itself probably goes against my next resolution...i guess i may have my work cut out for me.


*don't judge others by there actions, behavior, attitude, etc. in any particular situation.  i have to learn that there is no way for me to fully understand what a person is going through or has experienced (or not experienced for that matter) in their life that has led them to the place where they are currently.  therefore, if it is my opinion that they are making a bad decision or i don't like something they are doing, it is just that...my opinion and i should not judge them for it. -- i don't think that i explained that very well.  oh well, my list...at least i know what i'm talking about.

*worry less what others think of me.  along the lines of don't judge others, i have to learn not to let others' judgments of me get to me.  i'm doing the best i can with the tools i have. as long as i feel that i'm on the right path, then if someone disagrees, that is their opinion...and that's all.  example: a woman hit our car and was kind enough to leave us a note.  we took the car in for an estimate then contacted her to sort out the details.  she disagreed with the cost of the estimate and how long the estimate said it would take to complete the work.  after much back and forth, she agreed to pay, but she made us feel as though she thought we were trying to scam her or take advantage of her.  it really bothered me.  then i realized that as long as we know in our hearts that was not the case, then let her think it...it just doesn't matter.  i immediately felt more at peace.

*blog more. no matter if i'm the only one who reads it, it makes me feel good and it stimulates my brain.  i read a woman's tips on blogging the other day.  in reference to frequency of writing she used the metaphor of watering a plant.  if you water the plant once every two months, it is going to die.  water it daily and it will thrive.  while i don't want to get all crazy and say that i'm going to blog every day, i have a lot of room for improvement with my current frequency.

*get out and run. i used to be an avid runner.  then i added biking in as well. then i moved to california and got hit by a woman opening her car door.  i was knocked unconscious, flew 15 feet and told the emt in the ambulance that it was 2005.  sadly, it was not.  it was actually october of 2007.  i took an exercising hiatus and actually have yet to get back on a bike since.  i started up running again in the summer of 2008 and shortly after found out that i was pregnant with sofia.  i puked on average 3x a day for about four months.  needless to say, no running. since then i have started on and off, but never really stuck to it.  it is now february of 2011 and i have finally worked my way back up to three miles and have signed up for a 10k (mud run) in june.  we'll see what comes after that.  all i know is that my mind and my body feel SO much better with exercise.

*meditate daily.  i recently learned the practice of vedic meditation.  i have been meditating for less than a month, but i love it already.  the ideal frequency is two twenty minute sessions daily.  that is what i resolve to do.  simple enough. (in case you're interested in learning more about this, here is my teacher's website.  she is awesome.  http://www.theunboundedmind.com/The_Unbounded_Mind/Home.html)

*pray.  and fill my prayer with gratitude for the amazing blessings and opportunities in my life.

*nurture my relationships. my relationship with anthony.  my relationship with nolan.  my relationships with my parents.  my relationships with the rest of my family.  my relationships with my friends.  i want them all to know how much they mean to me, how much i appreciate them and that i'm will stand by them, support them and love them in whatever ways that means for them.

*know when to let go. on the flip side of the above resolution.  i would like to work on knowing when it is time to say "goodbye" to a relationship.  i want to surround myself with good energy and people who make me happy and make me want to be a better person.  if that is not the case with a certain person, i want the strength to remove that yuckiness from my life.  accepting people for who they are is definitely important.  but, i can accept someone for who they are and still know that i don't necessarily need them in my life. 

*take time for me.  i have found that i am my best self when i have time to remember who that self is.  i want to be the best wife, mommy, daughter, sister, friend that i can be and that can only happen when i am my best me first.

well, i think that pretty much sums it up.  hopefully now that they are in writing i will be able to stick to them and have a reminder to look back on and re-read when and if i feel like i'm floundering a bit.  wish me luck.  happy 2011, forty days late.  :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

another year...

it was my birthday on saturday.  i turned the big 2-9.  one more year left to bask in my youthful twenties. it is funny how when i was a fifteen, thirty seemed soooooooo old.  now, i have to be honest, it does still sound kind of old, but i sure don't feel old.  that is, until i see a 15-year-old or realize that people born in 1990 will be legal to drink this year (what!?).

that being said, i think that the uneventful age of 29 has started out pretty fantastically.  i can say, with near certainty, that it was my best birthday to date (which is saying a lot.  since moving to california, my birthdays have been pretty freaking sweet...thank you anthony).  i think nolan may have something to do with that...oh...and the massage.  and the new running shoes.  and DELISH dinner made by my man...the only things that could have made it better: a little more time with anthony and hugs from my parents.

bring it on 29, i'm ready to take you in and have you fill me with joy, love, happiness, surprises, peace and maybe a few met goals.