Off to the Gym

I’ve always loved going to the gym. Sure there’s some days that I have to drag myself there, but I always love how good I feel when I get a nice workout in. What I haven’t liked in the past is that my son has NEVER done well in the gym daycare. He wouldn’t stop crying & the staff would come get me within 10 minutes of dropping him off. It didn’t matter how many times a week I’d bring him, he never got used to it. So I had to take classes at night & on the weekend which made for a very tight schedule.

However, I got a lot of feedback on a gym in my area that had wonderful daycare, so I decided to give them a try. My son is an early riser, which helps me out since I could take classes before their peak, so my son wouldn’t be overwhelmed with scores of kids. I admit the first time I dropped him off, I kept looking at the clock, thinking they’d come & get me at any moment. That never happened. When I picked him up, he was still quietly playing with his blocks. The second & third time I dropped him off, he said “buh bye”, gave me a hug, & ran off to play with the toys. Again, I picked him up when my class ended.

You have no idea how good it feels to get a workout in during the day. I’m glad it frees up the rest of my schedule & I’m happy that my son is doing so well in daycare as well. Knock on wood, this gym is a keeper!

This post is part of Small Steps, Amazing Achievements. Come share your milestone with us!

Ethans Escapades

Ten Things of Thankful

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Here we go with another installment of Ten Things of Thankful. Only a few more before the end of the year. Where did the time go?

1) My brother visited from SoCal last weekend. I was so glad to see him for the first time since we moved in September. I really hope to visit him & SoCal sometime in the very near future. I know I’m still transitioning up here, but I really do miss SoCal. What can I say? The beach spoiled me.

2) It’s been raining a lot up here which is pretty awesome since we’re in the middle of a huge drought. It’s a welcome break from the sunshine. I know that sounds weird, but seeing the sun every day was getting a bit tedious. While I’m not ready for some Seattle like weather, the rain is a nice change.

3) The holiday season means a whole lot of sweets. This is the only month where I let myself go crazy on the goodies. So far I’ve been to 2 cookie exchanges & a potluck. I wonder what else the rest of the month has in store.

4) My skinny jeans still fit despite all this pigging out.

5) Finally getting some time to go holiday shopping. I’m still a bit freaked out to go on the weekends so I’m glad I’m able to go on a weekday morning.

6) We took my brother around parts of our new town. It was nice to get out there & explore.

7) With that being said, the foodie bug hit me. The food blog may return… in Instagram form…

8) We found our crock pot cookbooks, which is awesome since I’ve cooked practically every day for the last two months. Mama needs a break!

9) I joined the gym again & it feels great to be working out regularly once again.

10) Andrew did very well at the gym daycare. At my old gym, the staff would always come get me & I’d never complete a work out. I resorted to only going to the gym on nights & weekends. Now it looks like I can get my workout done in the mornings!

This post is part of the 10 Things of Thankful. Join us & let us know what you’re thankful for.

 
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Ten Things of Thankful

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It’s been a while since I participated. Now that our big move is behind us & we’re somewhat settled in, I feel like it’s time to give this another shot.

1) I’m thankful that Mat got a job in Silicon Valley. I’ve been pretty homesick since we moved & I’m glad we’re only a 6 hour drive, or a 45 minute flight away from SoCal, instead of a cross country flight, which was the original plan.

2) I’m glad that one of my friends from SoCal also moved up here too. I really hate starting over. I’m not good with change & I’m a really shy person. Heck, it took me two years to make friends in Los Angeles. So it’s nice to have a friend up here too.

3) I’m glad that we found a preschool for Andrew right away. He was in preschool for 2 months back home, & I’m glad to get him back into the swing of things right away up here. He loves it so much that he runs to the building when we get there, and knocks on the door to get back in when we leave.

4) I’m happy that I found 2 blogs that focus on things to do with a toddler in Silicon Valley. I’d be completely lost without Silicon Valley Toddler & Campbell Mom Squad. So I’m thankful that these two resources help me explore this new area.

5) I’m thankful my dad has been visiting since October. Moving with a toddler is no easy feat. Having my dad here to help watch Andrew as we unpack, run errands, and go on date nights has been great.

6) I’m glad for a house with air conditioning. Seriously, for the past 8 years, I lived in a place that felt like a sauna every single summer. Not good. I’d have to have 5 fans on me at all times. I wish I could’ve strapped one onto me as I walked around the house because it was just so uncomfortable.

7) It’s a love hate relationship, but for the most part, I’m happy we have Facebook. It helps me feel that my friends aren’t so far away.

8) I’m happy I found an ice rink nearby so I can continue to skate. I admit that the vibe is a lot different, but I am taking group classes in the winter so I hope that helps.

9) I’m thankful for nice neighbors. I’ve met more neighbors in my first two weeks here than I did in my 5 years in Los Angeles.

10) I’m thankful our home is in a centralized location. It’s nice to have shops close by. Of course, my self control will be tested during the holidays!

This post is a part of 10 Things of Thankful. Click the link below & tell us what you’re thankful for.
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Off to Preschool…Again!

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So Andrew started preschool up here at our new place. I was surprised that he cried when I dropped him off on the first day because he was totally fine at his old school back in LA.

Ever since the third week of school, he’s been fine. Now he says “bye bye mama” and reaches out for me to hug him, which is really sweet. He’s pretty funny about school too. He gets really excited the minute we pull up to the building, and he runs to the door as soon as I take him up to the car.

He’s equally as excited when I come to pick him up too. He runs to me & says “bye bye” to everyone the whole way out & as we pull away in the car too.

At his last preschool, his teacher would tell me he wouldn’t ever talk. That’s not the case here! I get a daily report & they tell me he’s always chatty & silly. He plays with the other kids as well. Glad to see he’s coming out of his shell a bit.

He’s definitely learning so much. He can count now. Every morning, he & I both count as we come down the stairs. I started taking him with me to baby bootcamp classes & he counts as I do my exercises, which is really cute.

I’m really proud of how far he’s come & I can’t wait to share more milestones with you all.

 

This post is part of Small Steps, Amazing Achievements. Share what your little one has been up to.

Ethans Escapades

FTSF: Neighbors Through The Years

When I think about neighbors, the first thing that comes to mind is the street I grew up on in  Long Island. I knew almost everyone on that block, and I had so many friends on that one street. We’d get together every day after school. We’d run through sprinklers, bike around the block, or go to a close park. The days seemed so long back then. I felt like we had so much freedom. There were no cell phones, but it was a beautiful thing. We didn’t go home until the street lights came on. I’ll never forget all the adventures and fun I had with my neighborhood friends.  Even after all these years, just thinking of my childhood home makes me feel all cozy inside.

Sadly, I would not experience the same camaraderie when we moved to Florida. Everyone kept to themselves. I only knew the neighbors to the right & left of our house. Even still, we weren’t very close at all.

I lived in the South Bay of Los Angeles for the last eight years. Once again, in those last eight years, I only met three neighbors. They were all my age and I’d always see them around.My husband & I would exchange gifts with our next door neighbors, which was nice, but it never developed past that.

I would get jealous when I’d hear about my friends having block parties with their neighbors, or even going to their houses for dinner. All we got in LA was the typical “we should hang out” with no follow through. I’m the kind of person that will only pursue a friendship so much before I give up. Again I longed for the friendships that my friends had with their neighbors & what I grew up with.

A welcome cake

A welcome cake

We moved to the Bay Area last month. Although we haven’t been here long, we’ve noticed a different vibe. People seem friendlier. We’ve met more neighbors in these past two weeks than I had in my time in Florida & Los Angeles. The kindness I’ve seen has been very refreshing. To top things off, our next door neighbor made us a cake to welcome us to the neighborhood. I thought it was such a kind gesture. Something I haven’t experienced in a long while.

When it comes to my neighbors, the feeling of inclusion is a beautiful thing.

This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday. Join us!

Finish the Sentence Friday

 

 

Talking up a storm

I know this isn’t the first time I’m writing about Andrew talking, but after he was diagnosed with a speech delay back in June, I am thrilled at how far he’s come.

I was worried that the move would make him regress between the stress, change in routine, & lack of speech therapy and preschool at the moment, but lo & behold, he is having a huge word explosion!

The latest development happened last night. I was singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes” for the umpteenth time. He’s always loved that song & puts his hand on his head when he wants me to sing it. Over time, he’s done the motions with me. Last night, he said “hea” “noh” “eah” “mou”. I got a little misty eyed. He’s come a long way. He also picks up on words a lot more quickly these days too. He repeats what I ask him to say most of the time, which is awesome. At the same time, I guess I need to watch my mouth when we’re in a traffic jam!

What achievement has your child made this week?

 

Ethans Escapades

So Long, Los Angeles

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After eight years, my time in Los Angeles has come to an end. It’s been a really interesting ride for sure.

I remember how nervous I was at the thought of driving on the freeways for the first time. Yes it’s true that I don’t leave my little bubble too often anymore, but I’m happy to say that I’ve managed.

I’ll admit that it was hard to make friends out here. Meet up groups were hit or miss. I did make a few friends after starting this blog, back when it was strictly a food blog! I would’ve never guessed that writing restaurant reviews would lead me to meet so many people who were also as passionate, if not more about food!

Over time, I met more friends through concerts, mom groups, and of course, skating. I think the theme here is patience. Something I’ve struggled with all my life. Once I get settled in my new home, I know I may be worried that I don’t know anyone. I need to remind myself that it took time to make friends in Los Angeles, it won’t happen instantaneously, like it seemed to when I was in school.

After eight years, I know in my heart that it’s time to move on. What’s always hard for me is leaving friends behind. Yes, there’s always the internet & the phone, but nothing beats face to face interaction. I’ll miss living just minutes from the beach. I’ll miss the South Bay bubble & above all, I will miss my friends & family.

So long, Los Angeles. You’ve taught me a lot. Until we meet again….

 

 

 

Small Steps, Amazing Achievements

As promised, I’m back. What better way to get back into blogging than sharing my son’s small but amazing achievements with you.

 

They grow up so fast!

They grow up so fast!

Andrew has always been fine when we left him with a babysitter. Leaving him at the gym daycare was another story. He would always cry, no matter how many times I would drop him off while I worked out. He never got used to it, so I rearranged my schedule so that I could take gym classes at night.

So, we decided to put him in preschool to get him socialized with other kids his age & maybe learn a thing or two. I’m glad to say that in the past two months that he’s been in preschool, he hasn’t cried once! In fact, his teacher has told me that he doesn’t say a word. However, it never fails that the moment we leave preschool, he babbles like crazy.

Which leads me to Andrew’s next milestone. He has a little speech delay & it doesn’t help that he’s bashful. He’s been in speech therapy for two months, which has helped him so much. He makes animal noises when asked, he is getting better at mimicking us, and he loves to clean up after himself. I’m very proud of him.

We’re currently in the process of moving to a new city. I know he’ll have to start over again, but I do hope that he remembers things he’s learned over the summer.  I am eager to see what else he’ll learn in these next few months.

Ethans Escapades

I’ll Be Back!

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It’s shaping up to be a pretty busy summer. With that being said, I’ll be taking a blogging break. There’s just so much on my plate right now that I just want to leave my blog on the back burner for a little bit. At this point, I think it’s safe to say that my foodie portion of the blog will be coming to an end. It’s been a great run. I started this blog as a place to put my personal reviews of restaurants in my area. I never imagined that I’d be invited to dinner with fellow bloggers to preview a new menu multiple times. It feels so weird saying goodbye to the foodie part of this blog. It’s just gotten more & more difficult to write restaurant reviews as of late. Plus, we’re moving & honestly, I don’t know if & when I would start food blogging again. I guess my passion isn’t there anymore.

I will continue participating in blog hops once I return. I definitely have fun with those & I love to see what everyone else comes up with.

This blog may be on a little break, but you can still find me on Twitter & Instagram. I thank all my readers, whether you’ve followed me right from the start in 2009 or you just followed me last week. I appreciate your readership & support.

Until next time….

Go Figure….Skate!

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If you’ve been following my blog or Twitter for a while, it should come as no surprise that my favorite exercise is ice skating.

I took lessons back when I was 8 years old. I just loved being out there on the ice on a frosty winter morning. I took lessons for 2 winters but my dad switched me from skating to swimming the following year. I missed skating so much. I would jump at any chance to skate but I would never take another lesson growing up.

Fast forward to 2010. The winter Olympics were about to start, I had quit my job, and I needed a hobby. I kept telling my husband I wanted to skate again. Lo & behold, we found an ice rink close to the house and I signed up for lessons. I was pretty excited considering how we live in southern California and ice skating isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for most.

I still remember my face lighting up the first time I set foot on the ice. There was something about the cool air in my face and the sounds of my blades meeting the ice that just made me so happy. I hadn’t skated in years, so I was surprised when my coach came up to me and asked if I had done this before. I told him it was a long time ago but he told me I still had my balance & form.

It took a long time for me to actually feel calm on the ice. I fell a whole bunch but I would always tell myself to get up.

I’ve always been a shy person, but I made myself skate in a program. Waiting for the music was the most nerve wracking thing, but I’m so glad I did it. I felt so accomplished once it was all over.

Of course I was off the ice while I was pregnant. I can’t express to you how excited I was when I was cleared to skate again. I was nervous that I’d forget everything after being out of practice for 9 months but surprisingly it all came back to me. During my pregnancy, I would ask my coach if I’d remember everything & he assured me I would be able to do everything I did before I left and come back even stronger. He was right. I don’t know what it is but I’ve been less timid since I returned 2 years ago. Maybe somewhere deep down I convinced myself that I went through childbirth so anything else is a walk in the park. No, I still can’t barrel down the ice like an Olympian without freaking out, but I’ve come a long way. It meant a lot to me when my coach told me that I’ve become a great skater.

 

I’ve always called the rink my gym. I tend to get distracted during group exercises at the gym while my mind is clear when I skate. There’s just so much involved in skating, plus you have to pay attention to your surroundings, so there’s not much time for your thoughts to get in the way. Call it my way of meditating. It’s always been a huge stress relief for me. No matter what I’m going through, and I’ve gone through a lot over the last year, skating always manages to make me feel better. Not to mention, it’s a great cardio workout. I’m glad I found an activity I truly enjoy. I’m very thankful for my husband who has supported me these last 4 years. I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday. What’s your favorite exercise?

Finish the Sentence Friday
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