Windows in My life

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!!

Hi!

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 -http://www.achunterson.blogspot.com and my new Cloth Diaper Store blog Cloth N Pins - http://www.clothnpins.blogspot.com . Please check them out as well because they are good reads as well!

~Amanda

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!


Ah-goo

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 www.a-baby-bump.blogspot.com 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..