Call it a Comeback

I apologize for my absence, it really hits you how boring life is when you have two kids in school. OR how AWESOME it is. I kid, I kid, sort of….

Averi finally picked up the whole potty situation, with a few here and there oopsies. She is in school four days a week and loves it. We had her first field trip to the Children’s museum and she had a blast.

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The amazing thing about Averi is she is very independent. She made her way through the museum doing her thing and didn’t worry about anyone but herself.

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I want to be like her when i grow up. Free and not giving a shit!

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Kaili has been doing great in first grade and she loves going to school each and every day.

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Her interest in cooking is emerging and I love it.

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These two keep me on my toes every single day. They are smart, funny and just plain awful sometimes….It’s not funny if it’s not real, right.

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Birthday

How am I 40 years old? Not sure I am okay with it, definitely  don’t want to talk about it.

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We were lucky enough to escape for a full 24 hours! We being me and Shane, no kids allowed. All that was set in stone was dinner and brunch reservations, the rest was…whatever the hell we wanted.  We checked into our hotel room downtown about 4:00 and then to Little Italy where Brian Malarkey’s latest restaurant aka our dinner reservation was. We started at a wine bar that was packed, luckily we got ourselves a table and a nice long chat with the owner.

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The weather was crap, not the day to just stroll from place to place so we needed a game plan. We booked it around the corner to Juniper and Ivy. An amazing restaurant by the brilliant Richard Blais. We cozied up with some wine and just perfect bites of food.

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Pork belly at it’s finest!

The worst part or maybe the best part is that I didn’t take more than two pictures. We just enjoyed the night. Looking back I wish I had, and I knew I should but the moment took over that thought, do you feel me?

After a cracking experience at Juniper we headed around the corner to Herb & Wood. The menu is so great that I struggled to choose. I ended up ordering something I would never order, lamb bolognese with fresh pasta. Not going to dive into food reviews, it was good, not great and having been to all of his restaurants I still, hands down think Herringbone is the front runner.

After dinner we Ubured ( is that even a word? ) to a “supposedly” speak easy wine bar with an Alice in Wonderland theme. The idea was fun,  taking the stairs down to a grass wall that was actually a door. We sat at the bar and quickly realized it wasn’t an actual wine bar, more just a bar that had wine. The best part was the TV above us that was recording everyone coming down the outside stairs to the “hidden” doors. People are hilarious.

We moved on, now pretty good and buzzed we wandered into a bar with a live band. It was a good time but we both were ready for bed. I think we were in bed by 11:00 pm. Not bad for 40!

Our Brunch reservations were for 10:30…. I think. Wags picked us up at the hotel and we headed to Old Town to a restaurant we have never been to. The Tequila Factory,  a restaurant in a hotel in the heart of Old Town. We parked underground and it really was a mess trying to find the restaurant.  Once we reached the hostess she said we were 30 minutes late so we had to wait… unless we were okay with a few stairs. Shane looked to Wags’ and then back to the hostess, we told her we would be at the bar.

Finally we were seated out on the patio, the sun decided to show up. We had a good time, the food…eh,  everyone else seemed to be really enjoying it.

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A guitarist that has been working there for years  serenaded us for a few songs, one was Stairway to Heaven because Wags.

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Our bellies full we strolled through town wondering what we should do next when Old Town Saloon came into focus. An actual  21+ bar and I had never been there. We put money into the jukebox, quarters into the pool table and had a BLAST.

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I used to be good at pool, really. But now I am not. Shane won every game. Bullshit! 40 is in the bag!

 

BAE is TWO

I can not believe that Averi just turned TWO years old,  I also can not believe that it’s been two years since she came home. It’s hard to imagine life without her and it’s hard to believe I haven’t spent a night away from her.

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We didn’t have a big party and  I haven’t finished going through all the photos, so this will be a short post.

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But a bragging post about how much this child is loved. My heart is full and I hope she understands one day how my heart aches for her.

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She is a perfect half girly girl and a perfect half dare devil!

She is TWO!

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The Party

This year Kaili had some of her own ideas for what she wanted at her party. Reminding her that Disneyland was her big present, we weren’t going to go overboard on the party. A few of her demands requests were that there was to be a piñata, preferably Peppa Pig and she wanted butterflies on her cake, she was totally reasonable.

I was able to get all the party shopping done in a day. I made the cupcakes and the birthday cake the night before. Kaili suggested a Peppa Pig birthday and even though she loves that show I wondered if it was a tad too immature for a fifth birthday. Right or wrong I agreed on some Peppa decor and of course the piñata. In the end, it was perfect.

My only concern was this precious face.

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So sweet but yet so deceiving. She has become so attached to me that anyone trying to take her or occupy her usually led to a complete meltdown, noodle body and all. It took a village to keep her away from me and we are not above using sugar as an incentive.

I set up a cupcake decorating station which was a hit. I ordered round plastic palettes from Amazon. I bought a bunch of different topping ranging from mini m&m’s to sprinkles. We put the cupcake in the middle of the palette and gave them a cup of frosting and let them have at it. Huge hit.

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After they devoured the cupcakes or should I say licked off the frosting…we moved on to a few party games and some memorable face painting.

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The kids were more than patient waiting for their turns.

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The party isn’t complete until someone beats the bacon, or pig or sausage….

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The piñata..

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was perfect for these little people..

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Kaili had her besties with her and that is all she really wanted.

When she blew out the candles I really, really wanted to ask her what she wished for but, I’m sure no matter what it is…

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Her dad and I will do all we can to make sure her dreams come true.

Incredible Five

My Kaili bear is five years old. FIVE!

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Five years of laughing, crying, bedtime tantrums, middle of the night vomiting, morning snuggles, hand holding and most importantly unconditional love. She is my best girl, my first born, my heart. Her kindness radiates all around her and she is one of the most empathetic people I have met. She has the memory of an MIT grad and can talk you into almost anything. She has her moments of not listening and struggles to share with her sister but their love has completed our family.

I remember staring at her when she was a newborn thinking about how fun the elementary years were going to be. We would be able to do more things together, watch her play competitive sports and have meaningful conversations. Now five years later it’s here and I am so excited to see what’s in front of us but also sad that I don’t have that little baby in my arms.

I vow to soak up each day of her fifth year, listen more closely, watch her more intently and snuggle her a little more deeply.

Happy birthday baby girl.

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Disneyland Day 1

This year for Kaili’s birthday we thought we would take the family to Disneyland, you know while Averi is still free. We booked through Costco and got a 3 day park hopper package. That included the hotel stay, park tickets with 2 early morning entrances, one character dining and a $40 gift card.

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We left early on a Monday morning planning to meet grandma and grandpa at the Disneyland Pier hotel by 8:00 so we could be at the park when the gates opened.

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I got a ton of great information from people on what and what not to do with our three days there. I had a tentative plan in mind and so we started the day out hitting Fantasyland getting most of those rides done in a couple of hours while the crowds were sparse.

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For lunch we went to Downtown Disney and ate at Uva Cafe only because it was outside dining and the weather was perfect. That turned out to be my favorite meal of the trip.

After lunch we headed back into Disneyland and that is when the crowds started turn up. Averi met Goofy while Kaili was on a ride with Grandma.

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Later in the afternoon we got a text from our hotel letting us know our rooms were ready. After a few more rides and a lot of walking we headed to check in.

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The first day at the park was a success and the girls were amazing, and I don’t say that lightly.

After we unpacked our stuff we went to check out the pool and let the kids take a dip. The hotel had a waterslide and a kiddy pool that kept Kaili highly entertained.

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For dinner I wanted to check out Trader Sams in the Disneyland hotel. Although it’s a cool tiki bar, it’s more for drinks than it is dinner. Our food was good but the service wasn’t superb. My Mai Thai however was delicious.  After dinner we strolled through downtown disney in search of ice cream. As we ate the sun went down and we took that as a cue to go and put the kids down. They knocked out immediately and we weren’t far behind.  We had to get ready to do it all over again bright and early in the morning.

 

 

Birth Day!

The past four years we have been pretty good about going out, making time for lunches and winery days. Dragging Kaili around was like second nature. She just went with the flow, tucked into her back pack of goodies and for the most part kept herself entertained. Averi, on the other hand hasn’t been as complaisant to sit in a highchair or spend time twiddling with play-doh. She would rather manage the back of the kitchen or throw toys on the ground. Who the hells kid is this? I have found myself bowing out of a lot more things these days… just knowing how much of my time and patience will be spent managing Averi instead of actually enjoying myself, so we stay home. But for my birthday, I wanted to go out. Out, out…without kids. To the places that shun kids, the places I haven’t been to in years or ever. So we got a sitter and planned the afternoon checking into places that were just that, adults only.

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It was a whopping good time. I even got the courage, ahem, thanks to my nudging husband, to introduce myself to one of my favorite chefs. If you watch Top Chef than he needs no introduction.

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Richard Blais in a nutshell < Top chef runner up, Top Chef All-stars Winner. Guest judge on Top Chef, learned from some of the Master chefs aka Thomas Keller and now has two San Diego restaurants which is why I was able to capture this photo.>  Happy birthday to me.

We also squeezed in a quick stop at the Waterfront Bar and Grill. The oldest tavern in San Diego and I am embarrassed to admit neither of us had ever been there..hangs head in shame.

IMG_0349I will leave it at this. I had a great time and I crossed a lot of places off of my to-do list but I did not feel hot the next day. Next year I want to go kayaking and eat at Nobu in Malibu. Shane says we should wait until 2017 to decide…whatever, that just gives me time to plan a roaring 40’s birthday eating seaside in Hawaii!