Wednesday, March 30, 2011

bay area adventures

i learned a few things about myself this past weekend on our trip up to northern california.  1) i think it is kind of fun to not have any plans and to fly by the seat of our pants (sometimes).  2) as cool as i think the idea of seeing a ghost sounds, i'm totally scared out of my mind when it actually becomes a possibility.  3) i love the bay area.

1) i think it is kind of fun to not have any plans and to fly by the seat of our pants (sometimes):

obviously, we had plane tickets...on a plane that left lax at 6:10am (ouch...though, in then end, it worked out very well) and we had a scheduled ride to the airport (on the super-shuttle with the grouchiest driver ever, that ended up being more expensive than if we had driven ourselves and parked our car in long term parking...but, whatever).  but, when we got to san francisco, we had no real plans to speak of.  an idea, i suppose, but no set plans.  thank goodness for telephone internet...(man, how did i fight against that for so long!  iphone gps and google search: i love you). 

we "googled" best breakfast in the area, found a delicious little restaurant along the embarcadero south of the bay bridge called "towns end," made only one wrong turn and had to loop around the ol' one-ways an extra time, parked, and enjoyed a lovely meal.  after breaky, we walked up the embarcadero to the bay bridge and then south to at&t park, took some pictures, nursed the baby, got him to sleep, made the transfer to the car seat and we were off.  short, foggy, rainy first stop in san francisco...but, it already roped me in.

 outside the restaurant

 the bay bridge

 that's at&t park to our left...the gal taking the picture didn't quite get that that was the point...

 my silly baby and me

 nolan and dada outside the ballpark

 from the car window...

we headed up the 101 to alexander valley (named after an old guy named cyrus alexander, who originally owned the land up there) in sonoma county to the alexander valley vineyards.  met dale, the super-friendly wine tasting room manager, had a few tastes of wine, got a tour of the winery and the caves (soooo temperature as well as awesomeness) and then went to see where we were going to be staying. 

one of anthony's wine reps hooked us up with this vineyard and accommodations and we were super-excited...and then...

we were to stay in the old alexander valley (one room) school house from the olden days.  ;)  it was built in 1868 and has since been completely refurbished (is beautiful) and moved to its current location at the alexander valley vineyards.  on our way back out to the car to take dale back to the tasting room, i thought it a good idea (why, i don't know) to ask him if it was haunted.  whoops.  dale: "why...have you heard something?" me: "no, it's just so old, you know?" dale: "well, i'm not going to is".  me: "well crap."  apparently, old cyrus hangs out there pretty regularly and shows himself mainly to women (great...).  there have been MANY consistent sightings of him doing the same three things: sitting at the desk as if writing a letter, pulling back the covers on one of the beds and opening the drawers in the kitchen. "but, don't worry...he's a nice ghost" first, i thought it was so neat...i later realized otherwise...but, that is part of thing number two that i learned about myself and comes a little later in the blog.  :)

 the cave entrance

 the tasting room

 wine aging in the cool

 nolan and dale...he really like our little guy

 front "yard" of the school house

the school house

 the living space...note the animal heads...creepy

 beautiful view out the back window....and...a bearskin biggy

cyrus's hangout

we spent the next day in santa rosa.  i was really excited to go there as i had heard some cool things about it: very liberal, great family place, amazing park, yadda yadda...while it was super-cute and the amazing park was really amazing, the town itself was incredibly small.  had it not been raining, we would have had much more to do at howarth park (lake with swimming, paddle boats, sailing, sailing lessons, kayaking, fishing, a carousel, a mini train, an animal farm complete with horsies to ride, many different picnic areas, kids play areas and open grass, tennis courts, a softball field and hiking and biking trails!!), but all we could manage was a quick trip around the park under an umbrella and a carousel ride that came with mixed reviews by nolan.  by the afternoon, we had run out of things to do and ended up at the mall.  yup, the mall...where the finest shop was macy's.  :)  there was, however, a stride rite store, so we went and had nolan's feet measusred for his first pair of shoes!  (but...they didn't have his size in the two types we liked, so i'm going to order them).

 carousel at howarth park

 crazy white rasta guy in a blazers' jersey playing the trumpet and singing outside the santa rosa barnes and noble...come on...that deserves a dollar...and a picture!

 me, nolan and paper mache hearts lucy! there is a charles schulz museum there...therefore peanuts statues all over town...

nolan was a little uncertain of the situation.  i'm a little uncertain why this picture won't turn...


 "why is this on my foot?" 

he totally refused to walk while we were in the store...figures...

monday, we got up and drove back south to san francisco with detours (intentional) through san rafael and berkeley on our way.  again, i'd like to thank iphone gps for helping us navigate all over the place.  we only had a couple of hours before we had to get back to the airport, so we went to fisherman's warf, grabbed some lunch and ice cream and walked around a bit before realizing that we infact do not know how to do math backwards from a departure time and nearly missed our flight (as in...we checked our bags with two minutes to spare, one of them didn't make it on the plane and we were the second to last people to board)...whoops.  thankfully, my dear sweet husband kept it together, stayed positive and reassured me that "whatever happens, happens...we had a great time.  if we don't make it on this one, there will be another one shortly...or we'll ride the bart back to town and stay another night...put it on m'tab" - he's amazing. 

 the warf


 crazy san francisco magnet shop...


 watching mama...and the pigeons!

 i also realized on this trip that i take a lot of pictures at an unintentional slight angle...whoops...

all in all, a whirlwind, but great, great trip!

2) as cool as i think the idea of seeing a ghost sounds, i'm totally scared out of my mind when it actually becomes a possibility:

so...we saw the place, we took dale back, went to have some dinner in healdsburg (which as a side note is a super-cute town that is very "green" and i loved the h2hotel that we ate at) and got back to the ol' school house by 6:30.  nolan  was exhausted so, no bathies just straight to nursing and night night.  he conked out and i was waiting our ten minutes before transitioning him to the bed.  anthony was curled up and alseep on the couch in front of me, i tried to sneak in a meditation.  couldn't do it.  i couldn't keep my eyes of that stupid desk chair!  it wasn't even dark out yet and i was totally freaked out. but, i tried to keep it together. 

i woke up anthony and had him go upstairs to the loft where the extremely high beds were so he would be in bed when i put nolan down.  i got all my stuff and went to the bathroom to get ready for bed.  by the time i got upstairs it was still a little bit light out, was only 7:30 and i was even more freaked out.  i figured i would read a bit until i got sleepy and could convince myself to nod off.  but, the only light that wasn't crazy bright and wouldn't keep my boys up was across the room...and i wasn't about to have to get up in the dark to turn it off and be tempted to look over the balcony at that stupid desk. 

at that point, i caved...i told anthony how freaked i was.  and...he was too!, we packed up all our stuff, re-loaded the car, WOKE UP OUR BABY (crazy parents...luckily, he went right back to sleep in the car), left the creepy old school house, drove a half hour south to santa rosa, found a hyatt and booked two nights there.  as silly as it sounds, i was so happy with our decision.  ghost or no...i was not going to get any sleep that night...and i had been up since 3:00am the night before.

3) i love the bay area:

pretty self is absolutely beautiful.  it is green and "green".  there is no smog.  the people are so nice.  it was even rainy two of the three days we were up there...still loved it.  can't wait to go back for a little more focused time in san fran!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the freaking cat!

this is roxie. 

 she likes to wrap herself up in covers.

 she likes to crawl into random places. should know that this is an old, pre-baby picture...hence crap everywhere

 she likes to be close to the ones she loves.

 she loves the heat from the computer.

she likes to hide in funny places...often ones that are warm. 

90% of the time i'm pretty certain that she is the best animal in the history of domesticated pets.  she is the sweetest ever.  also...she is the hungriest ever and the pukiest ever (explains the other 10%).  it is because she is so pukey that we feed her in ridiculously small portions.  it is because she is so hungry that we have to feed her said small portions roughly 1 million times throughout the day.  it is because she is so sweet that we put up with the above feeding schedule.    tonight, however all this hunger nearly caused me to lose my mind.  it went a little something like this:

6:00 - feed kitty and bath time (for me and nolan, not roxie...though she could probably use one...anthony's nose and eyes would probably agree.)
6:25 - jammies on ( and nolan)
6:45 - sleeping baby
6:55 - while making the transfer from rocker to bed, nolan wakes a bit, so i lay down with him to get him back to sleep.
7:00 - back to sleep.
7:01 - cue kitty...the meowing begins...waking the baby ever so slightly
7:05 - the meowing continues...i decide to try to sneak away before nolan is really ready to feed the cat and try to put a stop to the meowing nonsense.
7:06 - baby's awake, sitting up, crying because i ran out of the room to quickly feed sweet little bun-foo
7:07-8:15 - baby tries so hard to go back to sleep 
8:16 - baby finally back to sleep
8:20 - i try to sit down with him...prematurely and he rouses a bit ...again...
8:35 - baby back to sleep, lying down, unattached to me
8:36 - the freaking cat starts clawing and pawing at the door (which i had closed to keep her out of the room and off the bed)
8:37 - baby's back awake!!!  once again, i run out of the room to try and feed her quickly...once again, this ends with the baby in tears crawling off the bed and out of the room to follow me.  i am also nearly in tears.
8:45 - baby's back to sleep
8:50 - i finally escape...

so, now it is 9:45 and instead of accomplishing all the things that i had planned for this evening, i've done absolutely nothing but rock, nurse, bounce, nurse, and bounce the baby and feed the cat...oh, and write this blog whining about it all.  i must say, i do feel a bit better.  freaking cat.

thirteen, oh my

today (well, technically yesterday...when i started this blog...silly computer going crazy not allowing my to finish...), my sweet little lamb, you are thirteen months old.  i know i say the same thing with every month or milestone that passes, but man, oh man...time is flying!  in honor of your 13 month bday, here are 13 things that you do that make me smile

*when i'm working on something in the kitchen and you entertain yourself in the living room and become very quite... i poke my head around the corner and see you sitting, calmly thumbing through a book.  especially when that book is "the lorax" by dr. seuss (man, that book is soooo good).

*when you do something "good" and you clap for yourself and look at me as if to say, "eh?  ma...did you see that?  you gonna clap or what?"

*watching you discover the are so much more aware of your surroundings every day.  you noticed a crow for the first time a week or so ago and seemed a little shocked when it took off and flew up to the top of a tree.  today you nearly exploded with excitement watching leaves blow in the wind (not that you are just noticing them for the first time...just love your enthusiasm).

*your expressions.  you crack me up!

*when you cuddle up with me.  we face each other, both of us lying on our sides and you bend your little legs up and put them on my legs so you fit perfectly into my hip/leg angle (not sure how to describe that, but it is the best). is almost as if you curl up into something like the fetal position and tuck yourself back in my belly...but, on the outside.  alright...i give up.  if you still don't know what i'm talking about, i'm sorry.

*your smell

*your appetite and love of food (and how crazy you go for happy baby's organic puffs) and the way you manage to get food all the way on the back of your head...

*nursing you to sleep and rocking you in the glider.

*how you are entertained for good chunks of time by simple things like the laundry basket, a box, pots and pans, a measuring cup and a big wooden spoon.
 also...i'd like to note that your expression in this picture bears a very strong resemblance to my "madonna" face from childhood.  dad, tyler: yacht picture...agreement??

*how you "help" me fold the laundry

*how you now like to put stuff places...especially when that means you helping me pick up the toys at the end of the day.

*swimming with you

*how you make me want to be a better person because i see how you mirror me and i want you to be the best you can be.  not: open mouth chewing, mouth-full talking, interrupting, growling when frustrated, being impatient...all those "mind your manners" type things that sometimes slip by the wayside.  and the big stuff like empathizing with others and being generous, open-minded and warm-hearted.

now...while we are recounting some of the fun things that you are a few that maybe you could work on for me.  :)

*you now really enjoy "yelling" at the top of your lungs.  not necessarily angry or crying...just yelling.  maybe tone that down a bit and save it for the playground...not church or the dinner table.

*while you've been sleeping really well lately, today was a 4:45am day...let's try and get back to 6:30...or later, i mean...if you want later, i'm totally game. 

*yesterday, you unvelcroed (is that a word?) your diaper while i was on the phone trying to figure out how to fix the computer and before i got it back pooped...on the carpet...let's not do that again.  oh...while we're talking poo--the bathtub... not so much the ideal potty.

*your biting of me has really improved to very few and far between, but let's continue to be vigilant on that one.

that pretty much sums it up.  you're an amazing little human being.  i sure love being your mommy!  happy 13 months on this planet!