Monday, December 14, 2015

Chloe Paige - 8 months Old

Little Miss is doing great!
She is our little love, and growing up every day!
Inspired by Tatum's Christmas photo shoot with the same tights, here are a few of Chloe girl:

She kills me.  Just love this little one! 

I have a feeling that blue wall is going to come in handy for photos with little blue eyes! 

Chloe is on an all-veggies diet (part of my "good child eaters" plan) and loves green beans, carrots and corn.  She still nurses 3-5 each day and loves going in the ergo on outings.  Anything she can find goes in her mouth, I vacuum at least every day if not multiple times a day! 

She is gaining more of a voice and wants to be more involved than she was at 6 months, but she still has a comparatively (to Tatum) calm demeanor and just loves any attention we give her.  Her hair is most definitely red, coming in just about the same shade as T girls.  We love our baby Chloe!!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Potato Leek Soup

When Scott and I were first married five years ago, watching Top Chef was a highlight of our week. He enjoyed the competition factor, and I desperately needed the cooking tips!  Since then, we've taken the Top Chef University online cooking course together, which is where I learned that Panera isn't the only way I'm going to get a good soup! 

Potato Leek Soup
(Adapted from Top Chef University)

4-7 slices bacon
2 TBSP butter
2 shallots, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 leeks, sliced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leafs
1 pint vegetable stock
1 pint heavy cream
2 green onions for garnish
salt and pepper

I've found that with soups especially, it's good to have your ingredients prepped before beginning since things go pretty quickly and require your attention once you start.  I begin by putting the bacon in the microwave for a few minutes while I peel and chop two large russet potatoes.  The potatoes should be bite size!

Then finely slice two leeks and two shallots.  If you haven't cooked with leeks before, this is a great time to start!  I like to think of them as larger, milder green onions.

Be sure you save the bacon grease and add it to your soup pot.
TIP:  Use scissors to cut up the bacon!  But do save a few strips of bacon whole to use as garnish on top of the finished soup if you'd like.

Heat bacon grease in large soup pot.  Add sliced leeks and bacon.  Cook for about 3 minutes, then add sliced shallots and butter.  I season generously with salt and pepper at this step.

Now it’s time to add the herbs. Add thyme by stripping leaves off the sprigs, bay leaves, and garlic. Stir for a minute, then add cream and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Seasoning between steps is what "builds" and "layers" the flavors.

It's time to add a half cup of veggie broth. (I have used chicken broth too since that's what I had on hand, and it tastes great as well!) While the potatoes cook through, the cream will cook down. Continue adding stock until you're at a consistency that looks good to you. I like my cream/broth on the more watery side.

Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Also, go ahead and remove the bay leaves so they don't make it into someone's bowl! Top with a strip of bacon and a few slices of green onion.  Enjoy!

7 Things For My Hospital Nightstand

1.  First and foremost:  Some cheery flowers.  These tulips made me feel so happy and brought color and life into my space!  Thanks Joanna!

2.  A water bottle with a pop top lid / A water bottle you love!  

3.  A burp cloth.  Or Five.  Babies this new don't really need much, but I liked having several burp cloths around for her. And for me.

4.  Chapstick.  Burts Bees.  Life Saver. It's pretty much only useful at the hospital though, because once arriving home, your toddler will surely kife it away and insist on twisting it up and down 100x before losing it... 

5.  Deodorant.  There are lots of scents going on, so keeping deodorant handy is a good idea.

6.  Lotion. Not a necessity, but nice.

7.  Lanolin nipple cream.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Top 5 Tips For International Flights with an Infant

*Wrote this post about 2 years ago, and just found it in my drafts!  Here it is!
1.  First rule:  Don't bring too much stuff on board with you.  Your space is small and you won't have room to juggle too many things.  I do like to pack 1-2 extra outfits (depending on your child...) lots of different snacks (The Walmart stacker is my fav!) to give variety, enough milk (you CAN bring liquids on board as long as they are for your child... I bring at least 2 bottles of milk!) a bottle of baby Tylenol for heaven's sake, and a comfort object, in our case, "Lambie."

2. To prepare for security, wear slip on shoes (and pack a pair of socks in your bag for warmth) so they'll be easy to slip on and off for TSA.  I usually travel with a sweater, but keep it stowed in my diaper bag until after security so I'm not fussing with it.  Pack all your liquids in one area so you are just grabbing the one bag out instead of fishing around for each squeezee or tylenol bottle.

3.  Read up on infant policies.  When we flew to Costa Rica, one of the main reasons we chose JetBlue was because they will always give you an extra seat for your infant if they have it available.  This is a game changer for us.  We have brought T's car seat on every JetBlue flight this year (totaling 9 this year) and being able to bring her carseat on board enables her to sleep!!  If your child falls asleep in your arms, then maybe this isn't as crucial for you, but our high strung baby needs her own dark space with no distractions!

4.  Don't forget to get your child's passport long before your trip.  They sometimes take several weeks to be processed and the rush fee is pretty pricey!  We photographed Tatum at home, outside on the deck in natural light, then took the image to photoshop where I erased the entire background.  Since then, I've learned to lay a white sheet over their car seat, then prop them up in it.  Once it arrives, sign their passport with their name, then sign your initials.

5.  Once on board, realize that you have lots of distractions right with you.  The window is a thrill (for my 1 yr old) and a plastic cup from the flight attendant will please even a 6 month old. Following ice chips on the tray table is exciting.  Our family has an unlimited ipad policy on flights-- apps, movies, whatever keeps the child (and me!) happy!  Remember that babies are babies.  You should feel great as long as you're doing all you can.  If your baby is still screaming or bothering other passengers, just shrug it off because if they're rude enough to show their annoyance, then they obviously have no idea what it feels like to be you.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween 2015

Tatum went trick or treating with her almost 5 year old, and almost 3 year old friends.  She followed "Ariel's" lead going to every door and saying trick or treat and thank you to each person.  I would say only about 40% of people know Annie, but the people who do know that show LOVED her costume and often flattered her asking for her picture.  

It has been so sweet watching her with her Halloween candy.  She finally has something to offer us, so it's really sweet to see her excited to share something we actually want at tell us "YOU'RE WELCOME" with so much pride!

The week of Halloween, Tatum told the grocery store checker woman "nice lips" complimenting her red lipstick.  She replied, "Well thank you, thats nice of you to say!"  And then Tatum says, "That's because I have a big heart."

Two days later we are checking out again, and the woman asks Tate what she is going to be for Halloween.  Having pulled out her ponytail and looking a little rough, she says, "I'm just going to be a little orphan..."  I had to intervene and tell her that Tatum is dressing as Annie!!!

Chloe is getting her own look and becoming more of her own person everyday.  She crawls down the hall to the back bathroom, or through the kitchen to the garage door in about 12 seconds if I look away.  She is loving food these days and keeps surprising me with how much she eats.

My car got broken into at Target today.  Nothing was stolen (miracle!!) but my drivers door was left open, and everything from the center console and glove box was strewn about the car, including a GPS and an old iphone we keep shows on for Tatum.  I wonder if someone was coming and scared the intruder away, or if they really just didn't find anything they wanted... I was parked just 4 stalls in from the Target entrance in a big, good shopping center. So random and scary!  Feeling really thankful nothing was taken!

Scott is working for VMware, its a business to business cloud and virtualization software company in Palo Alto. From my understanding, he is redesigning their global on boarding training program, which is in line with his education and interests.  We are so grateful for this job and excited for Scott to be getting into his career!

The weather stays right around 75 degrees during the day, cooling off at night and in the mornings.  We've been working in the front and backyard like dogs, digging up the clay-like ground and giving it a little design and livability.  It's been a lot of work, and we regret not renting a rototiller, but we are glad with how it is turning out and look forward to the grass getting full and healthy so we can take down the stakes and start walking and playing on it!  I'll have to do another post just on the yard drama.

We are looking forward to spending the holidays with family, we will see how that works out with the work schedule and flights and such.  All is well in the Hathaway house.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Virtual Trader Joes Tour

I've been intending to do this post for about 2 years, but every time I get home from the big grocery run I'm in a race to get things in the freezer, lunch made, kids down for naps... it just hasn't happened.  So here we are-- my traditional Trader Joe's buys.  I go at least every other week, if not every week.  I went more in New York because it was by far the best prices available there, but I've found it's still well priced and far healthier and more delicious than food I generally buy at Safeway here in California. 

I actually like the Shepherd's bread in the blue wrapper best, but when that's sold out this is a good second.  Great for PB and Js and toads in the hole!  I like a heartier wheat for our adult sandwiches...

These taste nothing like Mission brand tortillas.  

I usually buy 2-3 boxes at a time.  Bars are a staple at our house.  Especially with our early morning preschool and music class these days.

I keep a few of these on hand for Sunday afternoons, to bring to a friend, serve at a playdate, or just make for a late night snack!  This is one of TJ's best seasonal items!  Stock up while you can!

These are good.  I serve them with Our Best Bites' coconut crispy chicken.  Always a hit!

They have several varieties of tomato sauces, this is the $1.99 most basic one, delicious!  We like trying others too!

Most people know TJs for their pizza dough!  I don't use it ALLL the time but it sure makes pizza night easier!

If Tatum's been picky for a few days and I'm worried she's not eating enough, I just make some "green pasta" and she'll literally eat the entire package.  This pesto is far, far better than Costcos.  Just saying.
They have quite a variety of salsa, we try a new one most times I go.  Scott loves salsa, I don't, but we both love the one with the dancing girl on the front.  This is the Chipotle which Scott thinks is really good.

Search no more for the best popsicle ever! Just don't let your kids try them! They are amazing, but only come in a 4 pack, so they go fast!  And don't bother with the other flavors- this is the best!

Scott makes a mean quinoa soup which always has us hankering for Peru!  So nostalgic!

The naan and frozen tikka is what rushes my trips back to TJs.  Neither Scott or I are sad if I'm not cooking and that means Chicken Tikka for dinner. Or lunch. Or snack...  It's just so good.  I break the naan in half and toast it in the toaster, and microwave the meal for 3 minutes.  Super easy.

Their yogurts are so creamy and good.  I love mango and vanilla best, but Tatum will eat any flavor any time of day.  And if she randomly doesn't finish hers, I throw it in a smoothie!

I normally don't like/buy light versions of food, but these taste better to me that the real deal.  These are so much better than CheeseHeads.

I haven't used these yet, but my friend swears by them.  Its garlic and basil frozen cubes.  You just pop one out and add it to your cooking-- no more chopping! 1 cube= 1 clove. 1 cube= 1 tsp basil.

I brought these for a soccer snack the other week and they were a hit!  Everyone liked them better than their on brand counterpart. 

Another of my favorite frozen meals.  Hearty.

Sorry the pic is rotated.  This is my #1 favorite.  Cheap frozen fruit.  I buy 2 strawberries and 1 mango, then divide them into ziplocks so I have 8-9 smoothies ready to go.  When I have 1-2 packs left I know it's time to get back to Trader Joes.  Maybe if I weren't storing 15 gallons of breastmilk in my freezer, I'd have more room for smoothie packs!
We fell in love with potstickers in NYC (although our favorite shop in Chinatown just got shut down!) and these are almost as good!  They have chicken and pork- stick with pork.

Other favorites that I didn't buy this trip and photograph:

Mochi balls- Japanese ice cream ball in the frozen section.  We love chocolate and pumpkin if its October!

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups- These are amazing.  They were the first thing I packed in my hospital bag and I knew I could stop right there and be fine in the hospital for 3 days!  I like the regular size, but the minis are great too!

Pomegranate Limeade- Its a great juice!  I also keep a couple of their fancy glass bottled juices on hand to bring when we have a dinner invitation.  They are easy and classy and don't have to be refrigerated.

I just want everyone to love Trader Joes.  Please, love Trader Joes with me.  It is amazing.  I've always loved it, but with a long pregnancy, new baby and move this year, it has really been amazing!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Favorite Things Party- Beauty Edition

People keep asking me how the transition is going to living in Santa Clara.  It's going great!  Our ward at church here is really well connected, and within the first week I came, I was on 2 email lists for playgroups and had a soccer and music class lined up for Tatum.  It's kind of a dream. One girl just threw a "Favorite Things" party- beauty edition.  So everyone brought a beauty item (hair, make up, exercise, anything!) to exchange, white elephant style, and talk about with the group.  I took notes, and wanted to highlight a few things for my sisters anyway, so I thought I'd just post it up here instead of an email.  Here we go:

The Wetbrush- I got mine at TJ Maxx, but lots of girls just buy them on Amazon for about $9. I can attest that it IS the best brush, it doesn't ever hurt and it gets out tangles on the first run through.  A mom and kid's dream.

Beauty Blender- again TJ Maxx for a little cheaper, i think they're around $6 but I don't know for sure.  This is what I took home and it really does blend far better than my (fairly good quality) brushes. Especially under the eyes!  I also got Smashbox "Photo Finish" gel to apply before foundation.  I can sort of tell a difference when I use it, but not too much and I like to have less steps in the morning... so this may be a pass for me.

Touch n' Brow- I felt like the only girl there who doesn't use these regularly!  Available at Sally's, people use them above the brow, forehead, cheeks, chin, on their "mustaches," knees before church, and even in noses-- though I've been warned to be careful because they will nick you there! Also called the "Tinkle Eyebrow Razor" on Amazon for $5 for a 3 set.

Trish McEvoy Mascara- The girl who brought this said it's changed her lash life... she buys them 3 for the price of 2 (normally $30 each) at the Nordstrom half yearly sale.  Apparently it puts "tubes" of mascara on your lashes that don't smear but then come off great with water.  I'm perfectly happy with my Loreal Voluminous for $7, so I'm not going to try this.

Ruby Blue Deep Red lipstick by Mac.  This is THE red.  The girl who brought it was really pretty, so I'm going to believe her.  Also, for a nude lipstick, "Flesh Pot" by mac.  Too expensive, but now I'm getting the name of it off my notecard and into the internet, so if I ever change my mind and want to spend $27 on lipstick, I'll have it!

"It's a 10"- leave in conditioner in a royal blue bottle is supposed to be the best, sold at Target.

Argan Oil of Morocco- The 2 girls with the prettiest hair at the party both use this.  And its just $6/bottle.  I actually opened this as my first gift, but it was stolen pretty fast!  This shampoo/conditioner set smells good, seems better than the Dove I'm currently using.  But I do have my eye on the Kirkland Signature brand shampoo when my current stuff runs out.  Now I'm thinking about Argan Oil instead...

Nivea Lip Balm- Vanilla and Macademia flavor.  The girl who brought this passed around the used one in her purse so we could all try it out.  It was really great.  I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for it next time I'm in Walgreens.

I brought the Anastasia brow duality pencil-- it highlights under your brow, emphasizing the arch, and has a shimmery side too which I sometimes use as eyeshadow.  If I knew the brow color of the recipient of my gift, I would have brought Anastasia's Brow Dip, which is kind of a pomade, so it holds your brows in place AND gives them color.  You apply with a brush, and as long as you have the right color it looks really natural and gives your arch a defined shape.

I usually feel pretty out of the beauty world, but going to this party made me realize that the girls who are "in" actually work at staying up on it.  I guess like anything.  They don't just automatically know it... they ask friends, take a look at what's new when they pass the counters at the mall, follow blogs/IG accounts, and basically they try.

T has been singing her way through nap time today, so I think I'll go get her!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

General Update

Things are going well here in Santa Clara.  We feel so so blessed to be in a house, where we use and love our garage and backyard.  Like I said before, the place is old but it is perfect for us.  We had our first friends over last week and it felt good to host again!

We took a little trip to Yosemite to get in touch with nature.  It felt reallllly good to be camping and living in the land.  We took some great hikes, had some great picnics, and swam in some really great places.  We also rode bikes through the valley which was a highlight for all.  Tatum became a "Junior Ranger" through the parks program, and just loved every part of camping.  She loves "being together with all my family" so camping and even sleeping together was really amazing for her.

(Ive tried to upload photos several times to no avail, so I'll be posting this blog sans photos.  The pictures of Yosemite are really fun, so maybe I'll work on it more later...)

I am getting involved with the moms in my area, and keeping busy exploring new parks and things to do with the girls.  I find it really interesting that we have chosen the two most expensive and diverse areas in America to live.  Tonight at the park, Tatum was the only caucasian and I overheard the other kids asking each other where they were born and what languages they speak.  Such an amazing world!  We are grateful and excited for our girls to be in an area where people are different from them and gain a world view.  

Tatum earns pom poms for good behavior and her jar is almost full!  She is practicing listening and becoming more independent through this jar program.  For the first time ever, she is getting dressed on her own and making her bed without being asked.  She loves smoothies as much as I do, so when she begs nicely every morning I can't help but comply ;)

Sharing a car has proven difficult a few times now, but we are grateful to have a car at all!  But a double stroller would be realllly great so I don't have to wear Chloe and push T when we walk long distances together when we have errands and events to do while Scott has the car.  Tatum is a really good walker, but there were about 5 times last week alone when I would have used a double stroller if I'd had one.  That list of items to buy once we have a paycheck is reallllly growing!  One day we will get the lawn chairs out of our front room too!

We just got home last night from a fun week in Bellingham and Seattle!  We so look forward to our times in Bellingham where T learns SO MUCH from following Jake and Autumn around.  Not to mention the fun Noelle and I have together!  After our time there, we drove down to Seattle to celebrate my parents' 60th birthdays.  It was a big hit and fun to have a change of pace.  Every time we come back to our house here in California it feels more and more like home.

More blogging and photos next time!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Update

Well, we are in a house.  This has been about the longest move of all time.  Life is beginning to calm down a bit.

The day we got our ubox, we brought it home and realized that the staff in NYC had bolted it shut.  And all our tools were inside the box, so Scott went door to door in the neighborhood until he found the tools needed to get the box open.  The Elders came to help us unload and we did it in about 30 minutes!  Unpacking and buying/finding furniture has taken much longer and a lot of effort lest you think this was an easy move...

Setting up internet was nothing short of a nightmare, but we did eventually get it sorted out, at $2/month less than we paid in NYC.  Win.  We have been here about 2 weeks now, and our couch came tonight so we are glad to not sit on lawn chairs anymore.  We are getting a microwave installed in about two more weeks, which will make warming bottles and eating leftovers a whole lot easier.

The weather here is as good as they say.  It's perfect.  70-80 in the day, cool at night. We live directly under the flight path for the San Jose airport, which means we get double paned windows and air conditioning, which is very rare in this area.  Our cul-de-sac seems friendly and we have a big backyard.  We are so excited for Tatum to be able to play and swing outside.  We have a lemon tree and 3 other fruit trees which seems like heaven after not even getting a balcony in NYC.  The planes are loud, but overall, this house is quieter than where we lived on Broadway in New York.  We are loving our proximity to the mountains, the beach and the city.

It feels really good to be stable and have a place to call home.  Scott counted the other day that we and the girls have slept in 16 different places since May 30.  We've been on a wild, wild ride.

Our ward at church seems friendly.  I primarily talk with people in the mothers lounge, thanks Chloe for helping me make friends ;)  I'm looking forward to a recipe exchange tomorrow and getting to know some more people in the area.  An old friend from college invited us to dinner next Sunday, so we are looking forward to that.  Hopefully it's not too long until we have our backyard up and running so we can start hosting too!

I was pretty devastated that we don't have a dishwasher, but it isn't THAT terrible.  Having a washer/dryer in my own garage is a real luxury.  I can let things soak and do laundry whenever I want without a hassle.  Life is definitely easier in suburbia. There are definitely things we miss about New York.  It was a really great place to live and we don't regret a minute we spent there, but life is easier here...

I better go to bed now. I think if I can get up and showered before the girls wake, I'll be more on top of the day tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Whats Up

We have been in the Bay Area for a month.  I can't believe it!  And gone from NYC for 6 weeks!  Life is happening fast.  Chloe is going to be a year old before I know it.  She has entered the blow out phase as of yesterday, already clocking 3 blow outs.  Cue a run to the store for Oxy Clean.

Our first stint was in Cupertino.  We had this sublet for 2.5 weeks and it was my favorite.  The girls each had their own room, we had a functional kitchen, great backyard with a play set, and even Charlie the bunny!  And we were close to a park and a good walking/running trail.

The next house was in Sunnyvale.  We stayed there for a week.  It was also really a good set up.  Tatum loved the trampoline and all the girl toys there.  Scott really loved the minimalist style of that home, and the bed was really comfortable. And they had good knives, which is a big plus.

During that stay, we found out the house we want wouldn't be available until July 20, so we scrambled to book 2 nights at the Hyatt near the airport.  We ate out, put the kids to bed in closets, and swam both days.  We also went into the city for church, which was amazing.  It made us second guess moving to the south bay, and come to the city instead!  We love the grit those wards have to offer! Also, the fish n chips at The Codmother is worth the 30 minute wait.

Next we found an airbnb in the mountains- Mill Valley.  This is such a beautiful region with great proximity to the city.  Our host Mary Ann was nothing short of wonderful, as was her husband Chris!  He is a Kiwi, who still owns and operates a dairy farm in New Zealand remotely.  We chatted for well over an hour about the ins and outs of the business and learned a ton!  My biggest take away being- Organic dairy products aren't what you think... animals aren't treated well due to the repercussions of the strict qualifications to be labeled organic. Also, NZ ice cream is so good because the cows are all grass fed, unlike in America. Lots more to say about all this dairy business.  We did some hiking at Mt. Tamalpais, and also explored the Marin Headlands, gorgeous!  And we can't wait to get bikes!

Now we are in San Mateo staying at a cousin's place while they are in Europe.  We are so grateful for their generosity and the comfortable accommodations.  And they even have good knives.  What's worse than getting a knife out to cut something, and then it doesn't cut?!  Moving around a million times with a baby gets pretty old, and with 2 babies it gets really old.  I was pretty fine up through the 1 month mark, but now I just want to get settled.

We are looking forward to the Tanner family reunion at the end of this month on the Oregon coast! Get this, we leave for that trip just a day after we unload our pod into the new place-- so much for settling down! We are really excited to be with the fam and for Tatum to play endlessly on the beach with her cousins.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tatum Funnies- 3 Years

As I'm trying to brush and do Tatum's hair the other morning, she shouts, "Don't touch my hair! Don't you know it's golden?!?"  

Washing hair in the tub is also a super huge battle.  Tonight, I got smarter.  I decided that she should be the one begging me to wash her hair for her, instead of the other way around.  I told her a story:

Once upon a time, there was a princess with golden hair, but when she played at the park, went to the beach and lived her life, it turned brown because she never washed it.  So, one day, the princess begged her mom to wash her hair for her.  The mom said, "okay, fine, if that's what you really want..." and did it for her.  After the wash, her hair turned a "teeny tiny teeny bit more golden, but not much!"  So the next day, the little princess begged her mom to wash her hair again.  Every time her hair was washed it got more and more golden until her hair was back to beautiful gold!  

And guess what?!  She got her hair washed without tears for the first time in my memory, and after blowing it dry, asked if we could wash it again right away!  Mom win, for sure!

I decided to take Tatum on a special date to Target to find a Sunday dress.  I really talked it up, how this was such a special time with just us.  But as we walked out to the car she protested, "But MOM, Where is Chloe?!  Why isn't baby Chloe coming with us?!" I reminded her of our special date, but it didn't take.  The entire ride to target and the whole time there she'd say, "I sure wish baby Chloe were  with us."  and "Wow, this is fun, but it would be better if Chloe came."  "Mom, I miss my baby!  I'm the big sister you know..."  In the end, we didn't find a dress for T, and she spent the whole time complaining that Chloe couldn't come, so I'd say it was a bust.

About an hour after we put Tatum to bed the other night, she called from her room so desperately and in a fully awake voice, "MOM!  I NEED YOU, COME FOR ME!  MOM!!"  I was nursing Chloe, sp Scott went in and ended up escorting her to the bathroom... The following morning when I went in to get Tatum up she said, "Remember when I was calling for you last year (super confused about the passage of time)?  You didn't come for me.  That was too bad.  But Daddy came and took me potty, that was sure nice of him."  

Me:  "Tatum, will you please come help me feed the bunny rabbit?"
Tatum:  "You got it girlfriend!"

People warn you about the terrible twos, and she hasn't totally outgrown that phase yet, but boy is 3 a fun age!  She thinks and speaks for herself! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thoughts on Leaving NYC

I wrote this post about a week before leaving the city.  A small update since then... We flew JFK-LAX and the flight went perfectly.  Neither of our girls made a single peep the entire 6.5 hour flight. And we woke them up at 4am.  I am still baffled on how that happened, I'm sure it was the first and only time!

Auntie Beana's wedding was amazing!  We had such a great time and we're excited to welcome Antonio to our family.  We spent a few days after the wedding decompressing, and then packing for 5 days in Mexico.  San Felipe was as great as ever, you can watch the 5 minute video of our trip by clicking this link.  After Mexico, we bought a car (hooray!!) and finalized our plans for the move north.  Just this week we drove up and are staying in a 2.5 week sublet in Cupertino (45 min south of San Fran).  Scott has had several interviews and hopes for more now that we're in the area.  Life is a whirlwind and some days I feel more overwhelmed than others.  I know we will get settled and in a routine soon enough, and I should just enjoy this time.

Back to the original purpose of this blog post:

Things I will miss about the city:
  • Being able to walk to the grocery store.  It's nice to have a quick 2.5 block walk up to the store to pick up a few things.  And only 1 block to the 99 cent store! Yeah, I'm going to miss that!  
  • Not having a car.  It's nice to never worry about parking, oil changes, insurance, traffic... all the cost and hassle that comes with driving.
  • $6 eyebrow threading.  I just love LOVE Anju and getting my brows done.  It takes about 5 minutes instead of 35 minutes of plucking, and grows in noticeably slower.  I always feel so great about myself and my life once I get my brows done.
  • The long crossing signals.  You have like 40 seconds to cross the street here.  And there is a countdown for you.  Whenever we are away from the city I am so shocked by how fast the signal changes!!
  • The fact that I walk everywhere I go.  I got a FitBit which shows me just how much I do walk and it is a lot! I'll miss the exercise I get without even thinking about it!
  • Living on Riverside Drive.  We have so loved being beside some trees and water- it has made living in NYC nice for us. We would feel too urban and stuffed up if we didn't look out onto a river walk and take frequent strolls there.
  • The community feel in my neighborhood.  I wave to Grismilda at the hair salon multiple times each day, I know the girl who checks me out at Rite Aid and the grocery store.  I'm friends with the family at the Chinese Food shop at the top of the street... Anju from Nepal who does my eyebrows.  Victor who does the bag check at the grocery store.  Franklin, the super in our building.  I have relationships with the people who I see all the time. 

Things I am looking forward to in suburbia:
  • Being able to drive to the grocery store!  This way I can just put my groceries in the car and drive them home instead of hefting them around-- what a dream.  
  • Having a car!  Just being able to get around!  Packing a picnic and driving it to the park instead of hauling all our gear everywhere!  Driving to a trailhead to take a hike!  Going anywhere specific and being able to go right there, it sounds amazing!
  • A disposal.  Hopefully my garbage won't stink so bad so I won't have to take the garbage out as frequently.
  • Laundry in my apartment.  I'm REALLY hoping this is my new reality, though with the prices and market in the Bay Area, who knows...
  • Less fighting and swearing and smoking and begging in the streets. It is quite remarkable what some people are made of.
  • Being in proximity to a Joann Fabrics and being much closer to Target.  Target trips have about killed me off in the city, and I so look forward to shopping there and getting home in peace.
  • Not smelling urine pretty much everywhere.  The city stinks most places, but when I was pregnant I was painfully aware of how much it really stinks here.  
  • Having outdoor space to live and enjoy life.