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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Are You Doing To My Hair?!

So... we gave Calvin his first haircut! This actually happened before my birthday so I am blogging out of order. It went... ok. Calvin obviously thinks we did an awesome job.

But let's start at the beginning.

Calvin was born with a head full of thin, brown hair. A lighter shade than mine or James'.

Over the first few months of his life that newborn hair all but completely fell out and around 4 months he was nearly bald except for a mullet-like patch at the back. One friend asked if we cut his hair like that on purpose. Um, no we did not.

Slowly his hair grew back, though not evenly. By his first birthday, he had a section of long hair right on top of his head, still the long mullet patch in the back now complete with a little curl of a rat-tail, but short hair on the sides of his head. We could have easily styled it into a mullet-mohawk.

We had considered cutting his hair before his first birthday, but my parents talked us out of it. By the time we finally did cut it I think it was overdue. These beach pics are from the day before the haircut. He is looking pretty rad. 

The plan was to even it out: trim those long hairs on top and in back to make it match the short parts around the sides. We were pretty confident that it wouldn't be that hard to cut it ourselves and we bought special hair scissors and clippers that came with a little kid-size salon smock. When we finally got set up to make the cut, James said he'd better do it because I was starting to freak out. In the end, all of us freaked out.

Poor kid!

Here are the videos I took... Sorry about the technical difficulties you will see. I still do not really know how to use our fancy camera, which is problematic for this blog!

Part 1: Running with Scissors

Part 2: Um... Maybe if we use the clippers...

Part 3: Damage Control

After Part 3 ends, we didn't film any more because things were getting really tense between James and me. Yeah, we should have taken him to a barber shop and learned from a pro before going rogue on our son's hair. But James did the best he could and in the end it really looked ok.

The video Calvin is watching on James' phone is a cartoon called Bloop and Loop. It's just a little 3 minute long show with two funny creatures that babble and laugh and blow bubbles. He LOVES it.  We don't generally let him watch TV (unless we are watching a Giants game), but in moments of desperation I am not above letting him see a little Bloop and Loop via YouTube. I came across this gem in one such moment of desperation when I turned on the Baby First channel to pacify Calvin while I was trying to get his dinner together.

Here are some "after" photos of Calvin the next day. I couldn't get any that night because he was too fussy and needed to have his dinner and bath and go to bed right away. Ok, we were all too fussy.

The flash photos make it look a little more severe than it does in real life, so here are a couple more in natural light.

It's a little patchy, but not nearly as uneven as it started out! That night I couldn't shake the feeling that I didn't recognize my own baby. I kept thinking, "Who are you?? And where is my Calvin??" But by the next day I was over it. He's a cutie no matter what mama and daddy did to his hair. And it will grow. And maybe next time we'll take him to a barber shop!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

30 Diana

I got to end this month of being super spoiled with my 30th birthday! Do I feel freaked out about turning 30? Nah. My twenties were great. I finished college, started teaching, and a few years later got my master's degree and reading specialist credential. I met James, we fell in love, got married, and moved across the country to California. We had our first baby, and are just weeks away from having our second. I am blessed with wonderful friends and family both back in the Southeast, and here on the West coast. I am blessed with a loving marriage and sweet baby boys. I am grateful for what I have been given, proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I am excited to start a new year and a new decade.

I don't want to get any more mushy than that. :)

I had two great birthday celebrations this year. On Saturday night before my birthday I invited a few close friends to go out to a kid-free grown-up dinner at Andalu, one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. We all managed to get babysitters for our kiddos and it was so fun to have an evening out!

On my actual birthday, James and Calvin let me sleep in while James cooked my birthday breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes. We decided to go for it and eat our pancakes in bed and it was pretty hilarious and predictably messy! Calvin sat between us and I held his little kiddie plate of pancake pieces (sans chocolate chips, and sans syrup) for him, although it quickly became clear that it was less messy for me to just feed him myself! The crumbs in the bed were worth the fun and silliness of the whole thing and after breakfast we all took a nap - crumbs and all.

That afternoon, we threw a BBQ at our apartment and invited those same few friends plus my cousins and aunt. I made pretty cupcakes with marshmallow flowers and James grilled burgers, sausages, and ribs. We had lumpia and tater tots and watermelon, and one of my cousins made me a delicious red velvet birthday cake. My birthday gift from James was a fancy ice cream maker (my request) so we also served 3 different kinds of homemade ice cream: green tea gelato, cookies and cream, and chocolate-Kahlua made with coconut milk!

Maybe it was a little silly, but I made myself some party decorations because I wanted things to look pretty!

I made the flowers on the cupcakes by slicing big marshmallows with kitchen scissors and then dipping them in pink sprinkles! 

Calvin and Sagan are playing with Calvin's play food on a shelf in our kitchen. 

James and Hartley at the grill

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Surprise Spa Baby Shower!

I am feeling super spoiled this month! Last Sunday, my dear friends Jaime and Rachel threw me a surprise baby shower at Revel Spa in San Francisco!

I love the idea of surprise parties, but I thought I would never get to have one because I am always really excited to plan my own birthday parties and even our anniversary and holiday celebrations. So I am especially thrilled that I got to experience such an awesome surprise baby shower!

I did know that Jaime and Rachel were talking - more like whispering - about throwing me a baby shower, but I didn't actually realize they intended it to be a surprise party. I figured that eventually they would ask me for a guest list or to set a date or something and when May rolled in and I hadn't heard anything I figured they were really busy and that maybe it wasn't going to happen. I mean, they are busy women with babies of their own.

So when Rachel texted me asking if I wanted to join her to go shopping on Sunday I didn't think anything of it. She said their afternoon plans had fallen through and that one of our favorite kids consignment stores was having a sale. She suggested that our husbands could take our sons for a stroller walk in nearby Golden Gate Park while we shopped. Sounded totally reasonable to me. The fact that she was suggesting that her toddler ride in a stroller during his nap time should have been a red flag, but I am a very trusting person and I was ready to believe that maybe Sagan could nap in his stroller after all.

The store happens to be around the corner from a restaurant that James and I really like so I told Rachel that we would have lunch there first and meet up with them afterward. It felt like my idea.

This happened to be the day after we took the maternity pics at Montara Beach and so James says to me that morning, "Why don't we take a few more photos in the park after you guys go shopping?" He said this knowing that I would always be up for another photo shoot and that it would cause me to get dressed up (so I would look nice for the shower, but I didn't know that at the time!). So I picked out a sundress and insisted on choosing coordinating shirts for him and for Calvin. I thought time wasn't a big deal because shopping and going for a walk aren't exactly time sensitive. Because of that, I made us late and inadvertently made myself late for the shower!

Some of the ladies getting started on their mani/pedis before I arrived.
Late or not, we had lunch at Social Kitchen & Brewery as planned and a couple more slightly weird things happened that should have tipped me off... James parked at a meter and I said it would make more sense to look for free parking if we were going to be around for the afternoon. He said there wouldn't be any parking and he'd rather just pay. That would never have happened normally. He would have made us walk blocks and blocks rather than pay the meter under normal circumstances. But I ignored it. During lunch, Rachel texted me saying that she ran into our friend Becca who had a salon appointment and that she was going to hang out at the salon with Becca until I was finished eating while Sagan was asleep in the car and Ben (her husband) was with him. It did occur to me that it was a pretty weird coincidence to run into Becca, but again I am very trusting and gullible so I bought it. After lunch I told James that I would walk over to meet Rachel and that he should text Ben to find him and we'd just re-connect later after Rachel and I went shopping (again, still believing the entire fake plan for the day). But James insisted on walking me over to the salon which I thought was unnecessary, but I went with it.

The way this salon is set up, there is an entry room with a sitting area, register, and counter for choosing polishes. There are two large doorways that lead into the room where the magic happens and they can be closed from view with curtains. So when we walked in, there was one woman there to greet us but I couldn't see who else was inside. I was expecting her to ask if I was there for a manicure and I was all ready to explain that I was just there to meet a friend, but instead she told us that someone was waiting for me. And I'm thinking, "Ok good, Rachel and Becca told her I was coming."

She pulled back the curtain and I saw Rachel sitting inside... as expected... but then I saw my friend Laura who lives like half an hour away and a wrinkle of confusion creased my forehead. As I scanned the room the next person that registered in my brain was my cousin Pam... and the wrinkle deepened. I am so glad that no one got a picture of my face at that moment because I probably looked totally confused and lost! But quickly (at least I hope it was quickly!) I realized that this was in fact my baby shower and I don't remember what I did exactly, but I hope I smiled or laughed or at least did something somewhat graceful because I was totally in shock!

Trying to regain composure and choose polish colors :) I was still giddy from the surprise!
The element of surprise was a total success! And the spa baby shower was awesome. What a great idea for a baby shower. Everyone was pampered with manicures and pedicures, Jaime and Rachel served sparkling drinks (non-alcoholic, of course) and yummy treats including a homemade chocolate cake from Jaime, and no one had to play cheesy party games.

The real cake...
...and a diaper cake! Also made by Jaime, and decorated with goodies for the new baby and me!

 James and Calvin stayed long enough to say hello to everyone and snap a few photos. And it turned out to be ok that I was late. A few people were still having their nails done and two of my cousins arrived after me.

Since we are having another boy and we don't need more baby clothes or toys, Rachel, Jaime, and James arranged for my friends and family to chip in to buy us this awesome double stroller that I have been drooling over for months! It's the Contours Options LT Tandem Stroller in Valencia yellow and after much research and online shopping for double strollers it is the one I had my heart set on. Thank you so much to everyone who helped out with this gift! We are so grateful!! And I am so excited to have this stroller!!

And of course a HUGE THANK YOU to Jaime and Rachel for planning and pulling off this special day for me, and to my husband James for aiding and abetting them to make it possible. Thank you to my dear friends and cousins for coming to celebrate, and to all the husbands and grandparents who took care of babies that day so that my friends and cousins could make it :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maternity Photos at Montara Beach

This month is turning out to be very busy for our family and I am so thankful that James is recovered enough to enjoy some nice family outings... and, yes, I'm also very happy that he has been well enough to pamper me a little since May happens to be the month for Mother's Day and my birthday, and we're getting close to my own personal labor day ;) I'm not going to hide it, I'm loving the attention.

Speaking of loving attention, I do love a family photo shoot! And I think pregnancy is a great excuse for one. We managed to take these photos at 32 weeks in my pregnancy - last year I was already 36 weeks along with Calvin and I went into labor that night!

I decided that I wanted to take beach photos again so we went a bit south to Montara Beach. My cousin Pamela came with us to help out with Calvin and to take some pictures for us. It was breezy and a bit chilly, as the beaches tend to be here in Northern California, but it wasn't too cold. It was also cloudy, but I'm still quite happy with how the photos turned out!

Thank you , thank you, thank you to James for being our family photographer, to Pam for being our photographer's assistant for the day, and to Calvin for being such a good sport the whole time!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May Flowers for Mother's Day

I hope all the wonderful mamas I am lucky enough to know had a great Mother's Day last week! I got to spend the day with my sweet husband and son enjoying gorgeous weather, blooming gardens, and the breezy beach.

We went to Filoli where the gardens were in full spring splendor and a special storybook-themed flower show was being held in the manor. The flower show featured arrangements crafted by floral artists and inspired by classic children's books like C.S. Lewis' Alice in Wonderland  and Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I am sorry to say that we didn't get any photos of the storybook flowers. It was a bit crowded, and we had Calvin in arms - plus James is still in a sling and hand brace. Those are my excuses for not having pictures of the flower show to share!

But as we walked through the gardens James took some nice photos of me and Calvin and I am very happy to have some pretty pictures of my seven-months-pregnant self to show off :) We also got some sweet pictures of James and Calvin.

31 Weeks

Calvin is touching a tiny caterpillar. Right after this picture was taken, he picked it up and threw it on the ground!
Guess he wasn't a fan!

Calvin is watching the musician onstage in this picnic area at Filoli. 

After touring the gardens and flower show, we weren't ready to call it a day yet so we drove through the mountains to the coast and went to a beach in Half Moon Bay.

We ended the day with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. restaurant. I know a brewery seems like a strange choice for a pregnant mama on Mother's Day, but I really do like it there whether or not I get to drink the beer ;) I had this amazing bread pudding for dessert... sourdough soaked in coconut milk and drizzled with caramel... mmmm... what a treat! Happy Mother's Day to me!