Windows in My life

Monday, November 1, 2010

#Manic Monday - My New House

I think the best way to start is that I don't have a house (working on getting one though). I doubt it will be in the best condition, a real fixer-upper. However, I have dreamed about getting one for so long. Here is a wish list of what I would like (under $400,000.00):

1. at most 5 bedrooms (two can be used for office or a playroom/office)
2. at most 5.5 bathrooms. (half bath for the living space)
3. at least one acer of land that the house sits on. 
4. Woods for a fence (all natural)
5. a master suite that has no carpet or cat box in it

Even though I probably would only get one third of everything thing that I wish for, I still would like the chance to have it all. I do know that at the moment, apartment life is cramping our style and would like not to be paying any one's rent besides my own 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Being depressed

I am sorry for the few who read this blog that I have been a ghost. I have been in kind of a slump for a few weeks. It starts with a day; then two and now its coming more and more frequent.

I guess because of the slow weaning of my daughter. This past month I got AF again. I should be happy. Getting rid of the junk in side to make new stuff for a new life. This is what I wanted right?

The past few weeks, I felt that I have a been slipping into the could have, would have, should haves. I should be pregnant, should have a second room for Bella. Could have bought a house in a new state and not waiting for my husband to be ready to quit his job and start a new. Could be in a different place with different people. I guess you can move, but you take yourself with you and your troubles. I would have felt differently if I didn't lose the only thing I had to comfort myself for 20+ yrs. I know I'm outing myself as one of those people, but it has helped me when I was stressed, helped me cope with loss and feelings of depression. And now I think of it being in a trash heap some where and I lose 10-15 minutes of sleep each and every night.

Call me a fool, call me what you will but I am in the mist of being in a depression that might last a few more months with or with out meds.

Friday, August 13, 2010

#Foodie Friday ~ Big Mouth Burger

-Big Mouth Burger is not paying for this review-
Now that I got a little bit of discloser here is the review.

In the upper Mission district in San Francisco lets say 24th St and Valencia, a few years back, a small restaurant opened that I didn't think much of because of the name Big Mouth Burger. It was next to a falafel shop and I thought the two were connected so I really didn't pay much attention. It wasn't until I was really hungry and was sick and tired of the Chinese food and doughnuts (yes this does exist) on 24th St and Mission, that I decided to take a chance and eat there. 

The worst thing I could get was a bad tummy-ache and not go there any more. What I entered was a relationship that lasted to this very day with my whole family.

The place is a small hole in the wall, yes, there aren't that many tables and there is a small window bar that uses the last space to the utmost without feeling to packed in. Most regulars know to get the food to go because the tables are a fair wait and the medium trays that they serve the food on takes up any elbow room on the tables. But well worth it on some occasions. Large groups can take up more than 2-3 tables, so take it from this regular, take it to go and sit out in the sun!

The Food:

Unlike its name the Big Mouth Burger isn't too big. They give you a knife if you want to cut in half and save it for later. The choices are very custom made and they have a wide selection. Though the chalk board with the selections looks small, you can customize the burger any way for at most $2 dollars more per item. The ice-cream is a local favorite - Mitchell's - which is a San Francisco original, like this shop. Besides the standard thick cut fries; the coleslaw, Baked Beans (no pork added for flavor) are made at the store and they have now added the Sweet Potato fries to the menu for $1 add to the meal!

They have other items on the menu like a Salmon Burger, Garden Burger, Turkey Burger, Cheese Steaks and Salads.

The restaurant has a kids menu that is also customizable for any picky eater and they do just sides of something, which came in handy when we were first introducing solids to Bella! Avocado $.95 and a good portion too!

The People:

The people that work there are very friendly and they know a regulars face. The owner especially goes out of his way to make you feel like you are at his house and not at a McDonalds. When I started going there regularly he made sure that a table was cleaned if one is available and if he wasn't busy clean it himself!

Alas, I moved away and only got to go to Big Mouth when I was in the City, until late last year when to my delight and the grumble in my tummy, a Big Mouth opened in the shopping complex near my work! Turns out the owner lives near and decided to open a Big Mouth right in his neighborhood!

Since then me, my husband and Bella have eaten there at least once or twice a week. Each time we find something new to eat and a sports game on the tv!

Here is the San Francisco Local. Two short blocks from the 24th St and Mission BART Station.

View Larger Map

Here is the one near my near my work.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#Wordless Wednesday ~ a start

My cats Puma (grey) Bindi (black)

My Hubby

My Bella

These are the people in my world.

Next week the start of a series I call ode to Blueberries!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

#Travel Tuesdays- San Francisco Parks

These first Travel Tuesday's are going to be about parks that me, my husband and my daughter happen to find on the weekends in and around San Francisco CA. We know them either by driving around and just finding them hidden or just because they are around local to hang outs we usually go out to lunch and the need for Bella to get some fresh air!

The first park is Walter Haas Playground in the Hills of San Francisco.

(This is the view from the toddler swings!!)

This park hosts a wonderful view of downtown San Francisco (as seen above). It is seconds away from a SFFD station which is awesome for those structure related accidents that happen. Plenty of street parking, a bus stop and walking distance (a mile or two) to a grocery store.

(Bella enjoying the swing and the view! Structures in the background)

There are 4 baby (toddler) swings, two adult swings and a tire swing (in great condition). We went on a Sunday so I do not know what the weekday traffic flow is like, but that day there were very few families around. That made Bella happy. More swing time for her.

There is a basketball court and plenty of grass to run around in, three stone tables in the play area to have a lunch or a family snack.

The structures are fun even for an adult. My husband liked the posts that were all different lengths. Bella loved the toddler structure and went on the slide a few dozen times. She liked the steps and was hesitant around the wooden bridge that had a bit of a grade to it.

(Toddler play structure)

The drawbacks: There were posting of Coyote sightings at the water fountains. Props to the Parks and Rec department, but I can see where it can scare people away even in the daylight. While we were there no Coyotes and since the SFFD station was just up the hill, the chances of an attack are very slim.

The second drawback was the sand pit. As we looked at it, a little kid had to jump in the pit and ask for help out of it. I think it used to be much higher but as my husband stated "It went away with the little kids in their shoes". Even though the sand pit has a sand funnel, it is way too high for little ones to play with. Also it had twigs and rocks from the surrounding area and was not something we would let Bella play in until she's a bit older. Or they clean it up and put more sand in it.

In summary:

Walter Haas Playground has great views and great playground equipment. The drawbacks are the Coyotes, sand pit and even the location with public transportation.

View Larger Map

Thursday, August 5, 2010

#New Format!!


I know this is less read than other blogs but I would like to introduce a new format I will be working on to make this blog a well rounded, less neglected space on the net!

On Manic Monday's I will post reviews, comments about life and what happened on the weekend if nothing else is on my mind.

Every other Tuesday I am going to write about Travel. With or with out my husband and daughter. Also give advice about travel in San Francisco, my home city. The local scoop.

Of course I am going to follow every one on Wednesday's with a Wordless Wednesday. It may not be pictures of the family and all pink hearts and flowers, but it will be PG I promise!

Friday's are Foodie Friday's. I will be reviewing Restaurants in the Bay Area and beyond. Also will be reviewing products related to foods, recipe sharing and life with a not so picky toddler! It's not my fault that she hearts Brussel Sprouts!

Yes she ate some and not a staged photo! And she eats broccoli too!

My other blogs to keep tabs on is Bella's Blog- about my baby girl's life - and my new Cloth Diaper Store blog Cloth N Pins - . Please check them out as well because they are good reads as well!


Monday, July 12, 2010

#GlueDots Family Bonding!

Glue Dots, what can I say? Its an awesome product. I was able to finish my baby girl's baby book after a year and a few weeks of dragging my feet. I didn't like the project because of all the placements of photographs and the time to get the tabs on the pictures correct. I am an avid scrap-booker and LOVE to play around with different glues and items that make my life a lot easier. The thing is I don't have a lot of space. My "scrapbook" table is an area the size of a large Tupperware container and I as I said my baby turned 1 year old this past June, so she is mobile with a vengeance!

The glue dots helped a lot, not only were they contained in the brightly colored labeled containers, they were fast and easy to put on the pictures. My favorite Glue Dot Product was the "Removable" Glue Dots. It helped a lot when I couldn't decide where a picture would go and then placed it on a page and deiced that I didn't want that picture next to another picture.

I love the packets of Glue Dots as well. Each one was individually marked on the back and I didn't have to guess which was the Mini dots and which were the removable. Glad to say I used almost every dot.

The only down side, yes there is a down side, is that they are a tad stretchy. Which means if you use the roller (which I did a lot) the dots tended to be a bit sticky on the adhesive roller and a few dots either stayed on the roller or came off in a longer dot then usual. But, you can't have a perfect product review with out at least one down side now can you?

Needless to say I enjoyed having the roller of Dots because I could have it around my baby with out her trying to stick small things in her mouth (I kept the paper sheets out of reach, until nap time) and my cats enjoyed playing with the empty cartridges (under my supervision of course!).

Here is a video describing my Dots adventure. It was the start of my Dots adventure in Summer Bonding,so its a tad rough, so relax enjoy and hit play!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bee-Bo hurts

Bee-Bo means belly button to all non readers of S. Boynton books. So here is my story.

I had gallbladder surgery yesterday. The second surgery I have had in my life. First was a c-section with Bella. The second surgery in a little more than 1 yr time span.

So the right side of my tummy feels very sore and my belly button hurts. The band-aide is full of blood but not leaked or gushed out but I can't take it off till Friday.

Bee-bo please stop hurting!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Winter's Passage - A Novelette Review

Winter's Passage

The Novelette "Winters Passage" by Julie Kagawa, published by Harlequin TEEN.

First impressions of any book are key to me. First off its by Harlequin TEEN which I haven't read, to be honest, many books from that division of Halrequin, but I have read some from the main Harlequin publisher and they have entranced my memory for days after and this one will do the same. Second after reading her bio it turns out she's a California native with Bay Area roots and Hawaiian highlights.

Get on with the review you say! Here it is:

For a Novelette it is a great little bridge between the Iron King and the new book that is coming out the Iron Daughter. I never read the first book but this 60 page novelette has made me want to get the first book and pre order the next (coming out in August).

I really enjoyed the pace of this book. For 60 pages it never once took a turn for the boring. Some short stories I've read felt like it was going on for ever and the author should have ended the scene 2 pages back. I like the use of detail when needed. The author seems to be aware that setting the scene is important but does not over do the statement that she is trying to get across. As this excerpt states:
The forest thinned, and jagged cliffs rose up on either
side of us, sparkling in the sun. Huge blue and green
crystals jutted out from the sides, sending fractured prisms
of light over the snow.
Then goes back in to the story of the monologue as you are reading some one's thoughts and not just another book that has over detail and not enough action.

I also liked the fact that the author brought depth to characters that were background characters and not just put there as to be set up persons and brushed aside after the main characters left. I kept wondering about the evil that lurked in the bar after the two main characters left. And I wondered if another of the background characters was able to get her child whole for that night or was it just a dream that she had.

It is also nice that it was short and fast. As a mom of an almost 1 year old it is hard to squeeze in time to read let alone do this review. So an hour really does count. She packs so much into it that I had to re-read it just to make sure that I got all the little details that I might have missed at 4 in the morning when I wake up to start my day.

I give the novelette a big recommendation and now through July 31 it is free on the Enter Fairy World website and there you can also read the first 3 chapters of the Iron King which begins the epic journey of Meghan Chase and her journey into the Fey.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Emergency Exits and #ppd

What do you think of when I say Emergency Exit? The sign above the door at work, resturant or in an airplane? You see them every where when you are out and about. But what about your own enviroment?

I am talking about your house and your very own mind.

I have had times when I was depressed, before my bout with PPD (that started when I was going back to work), that my mind felt like a big block of stone with SO many thoughts that it hurt and the only way to end the pressure was to end my missery by doing something irraversable. After banging my head (really true) a few times to the point of pain and wallowing in self pitty for a few days, I would get a bit better and venture off into the world again.

Now it's different reason my baby girl. I can't show that to my daughter or she would start thinking it's normal and do that infrount of people like my MIL, which she might take her away forever and that would make me very depressed!

Any way. Back to the subject at hand. After PPD medication that made me wacked out of my mind. Taking meds that make u sleepy with a 0 month old needing to eat every 2-3 hrs plus when she'd nap it was in my arms or in the car equaled one stressed out, strung out new mom! It was only after 3 weeks did I take myself off of them that I was starting to see clearer.

I realized that most of my depression at home steamed from not being moble (see Feb-March '09 entrys for more info). I had no car so I stayed home and felt trapped. And the only respit was after my hubby came home after work and drove me places. On a few occasions I rented a car but that didn't last but the weekends. So there I was with a crying 0 then 1 then 2 month old and no where to go praying that she'd go to sleep in her crib and that 6 pm would come and hubby could play with baby while I hide and try to get a moment to take a shower.

Around the 2.5 months in to what I thought as a prison sentince, my husband said "I am carpooling so the car maybe yours for a day or so." I about jumped to the moon!

The next 3 weeks were fun. Even with a car that wasn't mine I enjoyed it. Even if I did not go anywhere that week it was a joy just to know I had it.

Here is my top 5 look back/ 20-20 hind sight; wish I thought about it emergency exit plan that might be too late for me but not for you!

1) get a baby sitter. I can hear the comments. I stay in the home 24/7 right now and it's ok, I guess....

Even if you are a stay at home mom, you need some space to do somethings around the home or outside the home alone. I promise you can have your child near but still have no worries about having to keep a 2 month old entertained for hours when you feel the need to clean.

2) go to a support group of like indiviuals. Where it be Breastfeeding, the local gymbore class or a walking group that you do by yourself (ok you can take your baby too). But just to have people in your situation so you don't feel isolated and alone (been there; done that).

I just resently went to the Breastfeeding support group that the lactation consultants at my hospital wanted me to go to a week after baby was born and boy did I miss out on some good advice!

3) talk to your "other" tell them what you need and not what you wish for. If you don't have an "other" then whom ever you tag team with to get you through the day. The saying "It takes a village to raise a kid" was not lying! Communication golden (in my case Platinum) for a run down mommy. Don't hint!! Start saying "I need _____________ done, please."

4) get off the couch and move. Staring at the four walls in the morning, another set in the afternoon and a third set before you close your eyes bites!

Like I said before I was depressed because I was not moble, I did not get my state disablity untill I went back to work so I didn't go out because I dis not want to spend money. I just needed to get out just to see the world beyond my windows.

5) me time. I think we all need to work on this but if you look at the number 1,2,3 and 4 reasons it's best to have that time. Even if you hire a sitter have them come to your house and you take a bouble bath in the middle of the day or get that pedicure you so want to feel human again. And you go to a class to make your self a better mom and communicate with the people around you and move to that ideal weight.

Please feel free to ask any question you have about anything!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I really need a personal assistant

As a mommy, full time worker, full time wife, I need an 24 hr personal assistant that is willing to work for less than free (can I say Intern?). Here are the qualities I am looking for:

1. Pay rate is what ever you can find on the floor (Not Joking)
2. Great with Kids (I have one)
3. Kick A$$ photographer (document every waking moment of said kid and then upload them to the blog so people can see the progression of my baby girl turn into a toddler and of me with her)
4. Loves domestic work! (not going to lie about the state of my home)
5. Graphic designer (so I can have you update the blogs and be top on the Mommy sites)
6. Loves cats (I have two of them)
7. Interested in the experience of what this job brings (see #1 about pay rate)
8. Generally cares about the things I say, no tweeting behind my back.
9. Must love gummie things!

If you meet all the qualifications and not worried about the money, just write in the comment section about why you would make a great personal assistant and I'll hire you after a background check.

Wish this could be true but no one reads so I'll go back to my life as a full time mom, wife and slave to the 9-5 work week..

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Contest After Breastfeeding

I have little over 3 months before I start to wean Bella off the boobs and myself from pumping 100% to 50% to 0% by July 1, 2010.

In a way I am happy that I have stuck with something this long and had a personal goal that was hard and if I really wanted to in the start give up when the going got TOUGH! And it has been tough enough to quite many times and that was in the first week!

Here is my plan on or just after July 1, I am going to start my medication again, but I don't want to be a stick in the mud person as I am right now. I want to be a live and for at least 6 months (ttc'ing possible after that for #2); my body is not some one elses it's mine!

Here are a few things I want to do:

1. Drink a pint of guiness (or two)

2. Work an extra 5 hrs or more if they allow OT (I need to pay off some debt)

3. Have Friday night date night with Hubby. Leave Bella with Auntie and enjoy life as two people in love.

4. Be more active with a gym get my self into shape, flatten the tummy a bit! And gear up for number 2!

5. Buy new clothes that are more biz casual than what I have now as well to donate my gently used clothing items to a women's and child's org as well as Bella's clothes!

6. Get my blog updated with nifty buttons basically a face-lift! Maybe a Square Space account but I would like graphics that fit me and my blog instead of what it is now. Total blog envy for other ppl's sites! If you know or are some one that can help please tweet me @AVPH (I have -three- that I would like help with)

And a few suggestions from other moms out there that would like to live vicariously through me for the day. I do have allergies to Milk so unfortuately I can't do any dairy requests but anything other foods go for it!

Here is the deal, please suggest things that you would like to do if you were not breastfeeding. Complete the following sentence:

"If I wasn't breastfeeding right now I would love to do ________." And the reason why. Also your baby's date of birth.

I want to give a way two handmade tag blankies (pictures soon) made by me and my husband, to the two top suggestions that are left in my comment section along with some breastfeeding support itmes. A third mom would be randomly chosen by my hubby and win some awsome breastfeeding support items (more detail later) and of course I would do the suggestion as well.

Please make suggestions that are not too big and expensive, Working mom with a budget here! I will blog the day after and show photographic proof that it was completed.

Details of give-a-way:
1) Must be a BFing Mama of a 0-10 month old at the time of this contest and Exclusivly Breast Feed (Pumping during work hours OK!)

2) Must live in the USA or Canada shipping via UPS

3) If you have Twitter please tweet @AVPH (me!!) that you commented also with #bfing #AVPH and if u like what I write follow me at @AVPH and I will follow you!

Deadline will be May 30, 2010 for all comments

Voting will begin on June 1, 2010 and will end on June 12, 2010, my babies 1 yr birthday!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Birth of a Mom part duex

And maybe I would feel a bond with him/her. To tell you the truth I didn't want a Daughter.

I honestly did not want a baby girl to save my life. I know that it sounds mean and hurtful and you are thinking, "Mom, you have a baby girl aren't you in love with her and everything?". Yes, I do have a baby girl and yes I love her to the point of no return. It's just when three generations of women give abuse to the next I still am scared that I will be just the same and will turn on her the same as her grandma (my mother) did to me and going back a few generations.

So what I hoped for was a boy, I really thought it was a boy for the longest time untill the day of my BIG ultra sound and peaked at the lab tech's It's a ....... Comment. Didn't actually read it just scaned to see how many letters after that they were and there were too many to be a boy. And it was that. I decided that I would still love my baby but a fourth generation would not have the same fate as the ones before her. If it was a girl, there still might be a chance, that slim fading chance it wasn't and the tech person was wrong. But as the days got closer and closer I knew my mommy-tuition was wrong about the gender and I had to make it up to the little person that was growing in side of me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

In memory of a grand-dad

93 years young. He was my greatest joy and always made me smile. He didn't want fame or fortune. All he wanted was to be loved and give it!

I miss you grand pa!

Donald Peterson 1917-2010

I hope you enjoy being held by your mother for the first time and feel warm and safe in her arms! Say hi to my mom, Bernie and Grandma. I hope all have peace now and happiness! I love you all!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Birth of a Mom

Every one writes the Birth story for little one's and they are informative and very baby directive. This post is about the birth of my new persona in life the title Mom, MA-MA, mother, madre, okasan just to name a few of the many names for the title but when does it hit home?

I started to think about this before I was pregnant with my daughter. Does giving birth to a baby automatically give you the title? Or does it occur when your child looks at you and says the magical words MAMA! I didn't know because my mother wasn't the best roll model and I don't think her mother was either. But they respected the title of mother and when so when I was born I called my mother mom as well but as I got older and more aware that she wasn't like the other mom's that I knew at least for the hour or so that I was in their care, she wasn't like that. So I called her by her first name most of the time. It made her mad and said to call her Mom over and over again

When I was pregnant I didn't know if I'd ever be known as mom. I didn't feel like my life would need that title, as I didn't have a very good role model and she didn't have a very good role model herself as well. I kept telling myself I was going to have some one to take care of (to be continued)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Year ago Feb. 4th

One year ago on February 4th, 2009, I was getting over a cold, had been out sick from work for 3 days, and I was 22 weeks pregnant (see link in title for more details). I had just got off of work, driving home and waiting for a car to turn left in front of me, then out of nowhere a car rear ends me and I am for ever changed. Well, my back was hurting and a worry that I might not carry,(at the time) the unborn baby, to 24 weeks let alone the full 37 weeks. That seemed very far away that day.

Its pretty scary to be thinking that some average day can turn into one of the defining moments in a life, even if its not yours, of your unborn child. That day I feared more for the one that wasn't born that had no clue what was going on, then myself. The knowledge if there was something wrong and it had to be born that day, its chances of survival weren't very good until two weeks later. And that was a big if it could survive at that point as well.

I remember everything that went on that day, but I think the best part was to feel my baby move and kick from the long time that I was strapped to a board (see picture above). My husband was there (the 5th is his birthday) and I had him record the heartbeat off of the fetal monitor for a Valentines idea I had that I sent to most of the grandparents (I owe one to a grandma). We were going to get the Heartbeat the next day because I all ready had a routine appointment to see my OB-GYN, but this just speed up what we were going to do anyway. Here is what we did: we got a few record your own voice Valentines day cards from the Hallmark store (I heart that store), placed the recording of the heartbeat and a note to the grandparents hinting about what the sound was that they were listening to (I need to get that from my dad because I don't know where I put the file and I want to have that again.).

The next week from the accident I was in pain and couldn't get off of work until I saw the doctor which I did the next Friday, Feb, 16th, and from then on it was a blur of Motrin and Tylenol. The last picture above is from my car, It doesn't look so smashed but the trunk area had a large crumple that totaled the car and I have been with out one for almost a year. I do have the VW Bug, but that is another story that I will get in to later.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I can not beleive

That 7 months ago it was late spring, I was in the hospital with a very over due baby in my tummy and hoping that I would be able to push it out. I didn't know if it was a boy or girl but it was coming out one way or the other. And a bit more than 24 hrs later a baby girl was born.

Now it's mid-winter a day before she turns 7 months and I can not beleive that she is thriving and very head strong and coping most things I do. I swear she says "Mum!" when protesting going to sleep. She hasn't crawled or taken her first step but is very active with toys. She loves to see my face, it lights up every time she sees me from waking from a nap, or just looking around to see if comfort is near.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sewing Machines

So Hubby wants a Brother Sewing Machine or a Singer Sewing Machine. I say its all good if can make things for me on etsy! I know that I am to make it but if he's out of a job and I still have one, he should be making money for the family right? Also if its for the household why not? I also would make things but he likes sewing machines. I like knitting.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sleep Training Day ??

Well, I got to say I think it is day 6 of the sleep in her own crib day and its working like a charm. Just until I go in bed and she cries for me and like any mom I pick her up and go back into bed with her by my side. This time it was around 11 pm (I think) because we were out a little late celebrating the New Year with MIL.

I had actually put her in her pj's before hand so that if needed we could put her directly into bed with only a diaper change. We got home after dinner and I fed her one last time and Hubby changed her and 2 minutes of cranky protest and nothing. I think this was around 8:30pm.

I think I need to sleep out in the living room to get a great night sleep. Maybe I'll try that tonight since it is Saturday and all.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year

With each new year becomes a new directive to make your self better. This year for me is another year to where goals are set and then half way the year realize things are shot to heck and then re-establish a set of goals for the next half.

This year will again be no different.