Last night we got back from a wonderful family vacation in San Francisco! I worried unnecessarily about how Julia would do on the plane and how she would do with the 3-hour time difference and she proved to me once again what a wonderfully easy-going, adaptable and happy baby she really is! She is such a joy to be around–she has a smile that makes everyone around her happy, she loves to be around people and she is so easy going and friendly to everyone. Her wonderful personality makes traveling with her easy because even when we are exhausted from waking up at 4 AM, and stressed about traveling with a baby, she just smiles at us and it makes it all worth it!
We left early Saturday morning from Baltimore and had a quick layover on our way to San Francisco. We had no trouble getting breast milk and my pump through Security, and we gate-checked the stroller and car seat since there were no empty seats on the plane. Julia had some time to bond with her Grandma and Grandpa when we first got home.
Shana’s mother has a house with a beautiful outdoor patio space and an outdoor kitchen. They had about 15 people over for dinner Saturday night and we had a wonderful time with them! Julia surprised us all by still being awake and in a good mood until we left at about 9 PM to head back to my parents’ house in Pacifica.
Sunday morning, Julia woke up verrrrry early and made it abundantly clear to us that she was in no mood to go back to sleep despite my attempts to nurse her back to sleep (she was bouncy and active starting at about 5 AM!) so rather than sit around the house waiting for my parents to get up, we decided to drive into the city to watch my best friend, Julia, cross the finish line at the Giants Race at the ballpark. Julia was running the 10K, so just before the race started, I contacted her to get her race number. We were lucky to arrive at the ballpark about 15 minutes before she crossed the finish line, so we were there to cheer her on as she finished her race!
After Julia put on some warm clothes (it was cold out there!) and stretched, we went out to breakfast at this great place that had a New Orleans themed menu. They even had beignets (that were actually quite tasty, though not as good as the ones at Cafe du Monde)!
Sheila and my parents had a lot of fun playing with Julia, and they even got to witness her first real crawling! She finally figured out how to get up onto her hands and knees and move forward. She isn’t quite coordinated enough to move her hands and legs in a traditional crawling motion all of the time, but she does this funny inch-worm move where she gets onto her hands and knees, rocks back and forth and launches her body forward onto her belly, then she does it again. She gets where she wants to go and she is becoming more and more efficient. We really need to start baby-proofing now that she’s mobile!
Monday after Sheila left, my mom, Ken and I took Julia on some errands–we got some new clothes for Julia at the Carter’s outlet, Ken & my mom got some materials for a special project they were working on, and we got covers for our iPads & phones at the Apple Store.
In the afternoon, I met up with three other moms and their daughters for a Pumpkin Patch playdate! I’ve mentioned the Pumpkin Patch Facebook group before–it’s a group that broke off from the October 2012 Bump Monthly Board. I met the other moms who were living in the New Orleans area while we were there, and now I got to meet the San Francisco moms! I’m also hoping to meet the DC/VA/MD moms in the near future as well. We met up at a coffee shop on 24th Street, in the neighborhood where I grew up, and then from there we walked (with our matching strollers!) to a playground, where we put down a picnic blanket and just let the babies play together.
It’s always fun to watch how Julia interacts with other babies. I’ve noticed she tends to smile a lot more than other babies and is just generally very happy. At this age, they don’t really “play” so much as just grab toys from one another and chew on them. Every now and then they grab at each other’s clothing or hair and then you have to redirect their attention toward something else. Luckily they’re easily distractable so if they notice another toy that looks like it will be fun to chew on, they move on very quickly to something else. It was really a lot of fun to meet these other moms and their babies, and I’m hoping that I’ll get to see them all again the next time we’re in town. Since we come fairly frequently to San Francisco (probably 2-3 times a year), it will be fun to get to see them grow up.
Monday night when I got home from the Pumpkin Patch playdate, we left Julia with her babysitters (aka grandparents) and Ken and I went out on a date! We went to a great sushi restaurant for dinner and then got dessert and some wine in the Castro. Grandma was even able to get Julia to sleep, so she was sound asleep when we got home!
Tuesday we all went up to Wine Country. My mom was our Designated Driver, and Jim planned the day around one particular winery that Ken and I wanted to revisit from our Honeymoon, Vincent Arroyo. We visited about 4 or 5 wineries and also had lunch at a great restaurant in St. Helena. Julia did surprisingly well, given how much time we spent in the car and that we had to take her in and out of her carseat a lot. Overall it was a great day and we tasted some delicious wines!
Tuesday night after our trip to Wine Country, we left Julia with her babysitters again while we had another night out. This time, we went to an event that my best friend Julia had planned with her friend Alyssa. It was a “Taco Bat Mitzvah” themed fundraiser for their two favorite charities–the SPCA and the Lesbian & Gay Chorus of San Francisco–at Tacolicious in the Mission. It was nice to get to see Julia’s parents and sister, and the food at the restaurant was delicious! We were exhausted after a full day of wine tasting, so we went home afterward and went to sleep fairly early.
Wednesday the boys and girls went their separate ways: Jim & Ken went on a “Beer by BART” tour of the city, stopping at a few different bars to try beer and my mom & I went to meet up with Mica (Julia’s sister) for coffee and then with the Girlfriends for lunch at a Southern-themed restaurant in the Presidio. After lunch, we did some grocery shopping and then stopped by my old Pediatrician’s office to say hi. It seemed as though my doctor was very pleased to see us after so many years and she did seem to remember us. I feel as though Pediatricians really develop a relationship with the whole family more than with any other specialty, so it must be nice to see your patients all grown up with kids of their own.
Wednesday night my childhood friend, Dana, came over with her boyfriend, Liam, and with Julia for dinner & dessert. Baby Julia was being extra playful so they had a lot of fun with her. It was also nice to finally meet Liam!
Thursday was a big day for Julia: she turned 10 months old!!! (Taking these monthly photos makes the time seem to go by so quickly but I’m so glad to have these monthly photos that we will be able to look back on to see how much she’s grown and changed over her first year of life! It’s hard to believe she’ll be a year old in less than 2 months now!) This was also Julia’s second time having a monthly birthday at my parents’ house: she turned 2 months old with them and 10 months old!
During the day, Ken and I took Julia into the city to meet up with my high school friend Matt for lunch at a Chinese Restaurant in the Mission. After lunch, we went to check out the store for the company Matt works for. He works for a company called BetaBrand, which is an online clothing company but they do have one store in San Francisco. One of their main products is “Cordarounds”–corduroy pants where the corduroy goes around the leg horizontally instead of up the leg vertically. Ken got 4 pairs of pants while we were there, and I also got one pair for myself! After we put the pants in the car, we went on a nice long walk through the Mission, Noe Valley and the Castro, and then we headed home for dinner.
Julia and her parents came over for dinner Thursday night, as did Ken’s high school friend Omar, who is living in San Francisco and working at Apple in the South Bay. It’s always fun to see Ken & Omar together since it’s like they suddenly revert back to their 16-year old selves. When they are together it’s like they’re in a bubble where they don’t notice anything going on around them and they just go right back to where they left off. Those are the best kind of friends so I’m glad that Ken gets to see Omar whenever we visit my parents!
Friday, we had one last bottle of milk that needed to be used up (we decided not to fly home with any milk), so Ken and I went into the city by ourselves while Julia stayed home with my parents. We had lunch at Barney’s, a great burger place in Noe Valley that just so happens to have Kosher hot dogs (though we did not know that before sitting down and reading the menu!) and then we drove around the city a bit, including going down the curvy part of Lombard Street, and then we walked around in the Marina before heading back home to get ready for the Giants vs. Orioles game!
It was a night game so my mom and I had to leave with Julia after about the 5th inning since she was starting to turn into a fussy monkey (that’s what we call her when she gets that way) and would not go to sleep in the stroller. Not surprisingly, she fell asleep in the car on the way home, but surprisingly she did stay asleep when I took her out of the car, brought her upstairs and put her in her crib!
We were supposed to leave to come home on Saturday… but Ken was woken up at about 5 AM by a text message from Southwest telling him that our flight was going to be delayed by 2 hours, which would make us miss our connecting flight to Baltimore. He called to switch us to an earlier flight only to find out that that flight was also going to be delayed by enough time that we would miss our connecting flight. We didn’t want to risk getting half-way to Baltimore and then getting stuck overnight in an airport somewhere or having to pay for a hotel room so instead we switched to a Sunday morning flight, which gave us an unexpected bonus day in San Francisco!
Even though we were initially stressed out by the hiccup with our travel plans, it actually worked out really well… Ken and I took Julia to the Giants vs. Orioles game, which was a day game so I actually got to stay for the whole game, and then after the game we met up with Dana and Liam for a little bit. We then took MUNI to the outer Sunset to meet my parents for a delicious dinner at a restaurant called Outerlands.
We ended up flying home Sunday and getting home by about 6 PM rather than getting home at midnight the previous night, which is what would have happened if we had stuck with our original travel plan. I was very worried about how Julia would do last night after a long travel day and after being away from home for the past week, but she jumped easily back into our routine: we fed her dinner around 6:30, gave her a bath around 7:30 and she fell asleep around 8:45 PM (after a verrrrry poopy diaper!). She woke up once in the middle of the night (but put herself back to sleep within about 20 minutes) and then woke up for the morning at 7:20 AM!