May 31, 2012

Long work days

Since moving to California and having A, I thought my days of working insane hours were over. No more DC crunch....I was hoping that I had acheived work/life balance.

That myth of work/life balance, ah...the unattainable. Actually, I think I normally do pretty well. I think I manage to do my job, I get to spend some quality time with my family and have even been managing to exercise recently.

Lately, however, due to a very large project, I have been sneaking in hours of work at home at night (like right now!). This is not in my plan. This needs to stop. I need to rebalance. One week from now, one week. Then I need to breathe, and take back my nights!

Me enjoying my job!

May 30, 2012

A little train obsessed...

Like father, like son?

We decided that A needed some early train exposure. We went to a hobby shop where they had a train table set up and he loved moving the trains around the track. So we checked out Craigslist, found a great deal and brought Thomas home. We thought, we'll let him play for a little bit, then hide them until Christmas. 

Well, hours later, he was still playing with Thomas and the bridge. That is a long, long time in toddler attention span. We decided that we had to at least leave him a couple pieces of track and a train to play with - and boy am I glad we did. First thing the next morning he RAN out to play with the train again. So we relented and gave him two pieces of track and a bridge! Let's see how well we keep the rest hidden until Christmas!

So it looks like I have another train lover on my hands. I am so glad :) It melts my heart that he wants to be like his daddy. He stretches like him, wants to do everything daddy does. 

May 27, 2012

Being Sick no fun. Luckily I have the best husband ever. He has been so wonderful to me! Even though he has been sick himself. Hopefully I will feel better soon and be back to writing...sorry for me absence!

May 22, 2012

Baby Bird Cam!

One of my "mom blog" friends has a baby-bird cam set up in her yard...I am a sucker for baby animals (birds included). If you need a pick-me-up or have a minute to waste time...check this out :) I'm so impressed!

Nerd Much?

I sometimes forget that I really am a nerd. This came to light, again, when I was driving to the airport this past Sunday. I literally clapped my hands when I realized that I was going to be in the car when the puzzlemaster was going to be on NPR. I LOVE yelling out the answers before the person calling in. I literally Sit up straighter, bounce up and down and vocalize my answers. I get similarly excited when “Wait, Wait don’t tell me” comes on. I never thought about how silly this probably seems to other people, including the folks I’m sharing the road with. How can something so silly (and nerdy) give me so much joy? But I will take it.
I’ll embrace my nerdiness and take my joy. Also, it’s fun and free and makes me smarter J I hope that A finds fun in random trivia and brain teasers. So I need to embrace my love of it and try to pass it on.
Are there things that make you happy that seem really nerdy? That you are embarrassed to admit that you love?

May 21, 2012

Toddlers, toddlers everywhere...

When I was pregnant...I saw pregnant women everywhere.

When A was a baby, I saw new little babies everywhere.

Yesterday, as I was traveling, I saw toddlers everywhere. It really is amazing how focused you become. I think I was missing him horribly, feeling a bit sorry for myself that I am going to be apart from him for six days, so my brain was focused on all the kids his age. They were on the plane, in the airport, at the park, in the grocery store. I kept getting tears in my eyes wishing my little guy was with me.

I know, I know. I'm in Hawaii for the a vacation house ALL BY MYSELF. Which on the surface sounds amazing. And I have enjoyed sitting on the porch listening to the birds, drinking coffee and studying the crazy ferns, I also really just miss my little guy. And I am in this great place without my family - I really wish they could be here to enjoy it too!

View from the porch where I am currently writing!

Today I am in meetings all day long so there will be no opportunity to miss them - no toddlers to see and remind me of what a great kid I have. Besides, I know that he is in excellent hands with his dad. As evidenced from the photo that my wonderful husband sent me :)

Need some bibs?

May 18, 2012

Wonderful Mother's Day

I forgot to tell you how very lucky I am. As if you didn't already know :) My wonderful husband and son made me the most decadent cookies ever for mother's day. They bought me flowers and a card and just made me feel incredibly special! Being a mother is so amazing. 

Happy belated mother's day to my mother and all the other mother's in my life.  Thank you to my wonderful family for making it a perfect mother's day!

May 17, 2012

Sixteen Months

How has time gone by so quickly???

My little guy is 16 months old!

I got a little sentimental today and started looking at old baby is getting so big. He said "bubbles" today. He is amazing. A year ago - he was an itty bitty four month old discovering hs toes. Where has the time gone???

May 16, 2012

The next 3 weeks

...are going to be really really busy! Work busy - good busy - but very busy!

So forgive me if I am not around much...I am working on this!

May 14, 2012

Trying to be fit...

Week 2 of my 5k training plan...well, half done.

I suceeded for the first half of the week, but failed on part 2. I haven't gotten the travel and exercise part down yet. We had lots of fun for Mother's day...went to Seal Beach, Redondo beach and Long Beach. Buried our feet in the sand, watched hockey and enjoyed the aquarium...but I did not run.

I clearly need some advice on how to exercise while on a family vacation! Our hotel room was even on the same floor as the gym - but I did not go!

Any advice?

May 10, 2012

Get your kid a National Parks Passport!

One of my coolest possessions is my National Parks Passport. I bought it in 1999 and it is nearly I recently bought my second passport! There are 397 National Park units around the country and there is at least one passport cancellation stamp at each park. Some even have more than one...

It is still fun years later to go through the book and remember all the fun times I've had :)

My first National Parks Passport and my new one...ready for the first stamp!

Some of my first cancellation stamps

And yes, I have already bought a passport for A. If you'll notice...his first stamp was February 13, 2011. He was less than a month old when he got his first stamp. Hopefully this will be something he'll enjoy his whole life. So far he has six many more to go!

You can buy a passport at most National Parks or online here. It's fun for the whole family, I promise!

May 9, 2012

A whole new non-dairy world

I knew that I was going to fall a bit on the yuppie-hippie mama train (to try and label it) - I planned on buying organic, making what food I could (not as much as I thought!), trying cloth diapers and environmentally friendly disposables if that didn't work (it didn't).

What I didn't anticipate was the milk allergy. I planned on buying organic milk and yogurt, I did not know I'd be venturing into the dairy alternatives world.

There are so many diary alternatives, yesterday I decided to buy this:

First, Who even knew that Greek Style Coconut Yogurt even existed?

Second, what is so special about that, you ask? It is possibly the most certified food I have ever purchased. It is:

1. Certified Vegan
2. Certified Gluten-free
3. Non-GMO verified
4. Kosher
5. Soy Free
6. Organic
7. and Dairy Free...

It is free of so many things, one wonders, what is actually in it? Well, as best I can tell, it is rich in fiber! The real test is whether A thinks it's tasty...

Evidence, for your viewing pleasure:

May 8, 2012

Top 5 free places to entertain toddlers!

Last week when I got home from work, A went straight to the car door and tried to open it. He clearly wanted to get in and go somewhere. It was 5:30 pm. I was tired, I didn't need anything at the store...but I buckled him in his carseat and started to drive. Where to go? where to go?

Ah-ha! Petco...I needed dog food anyway...and as a bonus there are animals to look at. It's like a free zoo. (Except, of course, for the 30 lb. bag of dog food). He LOVED it. We spent lots of time staring at the fish. Lots of happy noises ensued. Then we met another kid in front of the reptiles. He was a little older and was teaching A all about snakes and geckos. A listened intently!

But the best part - the birds...I think A was just about as excited as I'd ever seen him. The birds answered his excited squeals, it was so very cute. So my new find is...

1. The pet store :) - sort of like a zoo?

Other great options that we have come across

2. Duck ponds (yes, A likes birds!)
Duck ponds are so entertaining!

3. Libraries - books, big teddy bears, little people sized chairs and hand puppets galore!

4. "First 5" Classes - if you are lucky enough to live in CA, in many communities there is a program called "First 5" - which offers free classes (like Mommy and Me) for kids 5 and under. All FREE.

5. Parks! Local parks, county parks, even some National parks (like Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area) - are free! A loves to be outdoors and I try to get him out as often as possible :)

Not only can National Parks be free...but apparently there are lots of great dog/coyote statues for kids to play with...who knew?

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The National Mall in DC

May 5, 2012

Love this guy

Sometimes I miss him so much while I am at work, so I love the moments I do get with him...just an hour or so in the morning and again at night. It's so nice that the weather is gorgeous and the sun is staying out a little later. He just loves being outside - it makes me so happy. His smile is the best medicine after a long day at work! Now to enjoy the weekend...

May 4, 2012

Going to be Fit Friday

I managed to complete my exercise plan this week...Four whole days in a row...a record for me since A was born. I'm not quite sure what it is about my life now that doesn't lend itself to exercise...oh, wait...yes I do.

When on earth do mom's have time to exercise? Mostly at lunch time for me :) Though this Wednesday, I ran after work - with the jogging stroller for the first time, and it was actually kind of fun! I am sure I sounded a little dumb...babbling away to the little guy while I ran, one hand on the stroller, the other arms trying to move in some sort of rhythm...but I had fun, and feel good!

So this week I started the "Finish It - 5k" plan from Train like a Mother. Since I started on Monday, I only have 4 days under my belt...2 days of running 2 minutes, walking 4 (x5), 1 day of cross-training and one rest day (that was a fun one!). But I feel good...hopefully I'll make it through the 10 weeks, and still feel good.

Can't wait for week keep me accountable please!

A reading "Train like a Mother"

May 3, 2012

Want to find some new blogs to read?


When I have the house to myself...

Sometimes my wonderful husband goes away for work...

When this happens, I get the computer all to myself...I also get to drink red wine or hoppy beers, eat lots of cheese for dinner, watch the Voice without being asked "you really like this?" and I often buy little pints of sorbet or fruity ice cream that he would never like ;0

Don't get me wrong, I miss him...but there are some little perks!

Moose, however, is just staring at me forlornly. Apparently I am no substitute for Mr. K...

May 2, 2012

Food, Oh the food of SF

Last month I had a work trip to San Fransisco - the company was great, the training excellent, but the food, the food was AMAZING. I sort of forgot what it was like to be able to lounge around really enjoying food at restaurants. So for your viewing San Fransisco food...

May 1, 2012

Keeping it Local - Donations

Every year I make it a priority to donate to good causes. There are so many good charities out there, good causes, people and and places that need our support. How do you choose?

This year, I decided to stay close to home. To support the amazing local places I visit, the resources I use, the people near me that need a little extra. Now that I am a mom, I definitely use more local resources for A and his enrichment and enjoyment. The local library was top of my list this year :)

So list of the year

January - Melanoma Research Foundation (not geographically local, but emotionally local)
February - Friends of Moorpark Library
March - California Wildlife Center
April - My local NPR Station - KCLU

I'd appreciate any ideas! Who should I donate to next month?

We love books - and the local library - here at Crazy Casa K!


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