Category Archive: video blog

A baby story: Week 16

Week 16: Baby’s the size of an avocado!

Last week our little lady made it through week 16 while visiting family and friends in Long Beach!  I’ll put up another post specific to Christmas festivities later this week but other than the holidays we’ve been keeping ourselves pretty busy down south.  Things in the pregnancy department have been same ol’, same ol’.  It’s been interesting while down here with so many things to do and so many distractions, I haven’t thought too much about it and haven’t been stressing myself out about being in this limbo period.  Once a week when I receive some pregnancy updates in my e-mail inbox (the ones from The Bump, Baby Center, and Babble are my favorites) I check out the message boards and it’s nice to read about other women in the same boat as me.  I can’t wait to start to feel Sirena moving around in the belly–they say it will start to feel like fluttering butterflies or a swimming fish at first.  Can’t wait!

We made a pretty major purchase this week which we’ve had our eyes on for months now that will make a huge difference when the baby arrives…a new car!  We’re keeping our 4-door Honda Civic but we had to trade-in our 2-door Ford Focus (which we loved and were sad to say bye to) for something a little bigger to fit a car seat, Lola, and all the baby junk.  We’ve gone to a few car dealerships in the past four months up north but the selection of larger cars is pretty minimal since most folks up north drive smaller sedans.  We decided to check out a dealership near Kevin’s parent’s house (the same one we purchased our Ford Focus at) since they had 150+ SUV-type used cars on the lot.  Kevin’s mom Dorothy tagged along and after 4 hours of negotiating we have our hands on a cute little 2008 Ford Edge!

Our little lady will be riding in style!

Lola checking out her new ride

The biggest news on the pregnancy front this week was that we made the public announcement to someone very special about Sirena’s middle name (which previously was kept a secret from most folks).

We decided to honor my mom and name Sirena after her so her name will be Sirena Linda which, in Spanish, translates to “beautiful mermaid”.  I bought her a picture frame and put in a photo of Sirena’s ultrasound then wrote “Sirena Linda” on the bottom.  We gave it to my mom as a Christmas gift and videotaped the reaction…I knew she would be emotional but nothing could have prepared me for her reaction!  Here’s the link to the video on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

Belly shot!

It’s looking a lot like last week’s belly but I’m sure in the next month or so we’ll start to see some pretty major developments…

A proud moment for doggy parents

We have been so spoiled this fall with warm weather and I could not be happier with all this sunshine we’ve been getting.  On Oct 23 we took the pup out to Point Isabel Regional Park in Richmond for some sunshine and, to our great surprise, an open water swim!

Carleigh and I had visited here once with the dogs since it’s a huge off-leash area that has some of the most amazing views.  The night we went the sun was just starting to set and it was incredible seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco city skyline with the sun setting.  Beautiful!  Since that visit I knew I had to bring Kevin here to check it out for himself.

We went down the rocks a bit to watch some of the dogs that were swimming out in the bay chasing tennis balls.  Whenever we’ve taken Lola out to swim before she would only go as far as she could touch the bottom, she was never comfortable actually swimming.  After a few minutes of watching a Labrador retrieve a tennis ball over and over again, Lola slowly started venturing out to the deeper water and eventually made it all the way out!  It was definitely one of our proudest dog parent moments.  🙂

At first she would only chase the dog and not even look at the ball.  But eventually when the other dogs left for home and we were standing there with a dripping wet tennis ball, Lola begged us to keep throwing the ball and the rest is history!

Here’s a video of Lola on one of her first attempts in the open water (and if you look closely you may see the Golden Gate Bridge and the SF city skyline in the background).

Lola’s that speck in the center of the photo

Kevin getting ready to throw the ball

Kevin tried to take a photo of her shaking her coat out on the shore:

As soon as we got home Kevin plopped that sandy, damp girl in the bathtub for a desperately needed bath:

Even though bath time is not Lola’s favorite, I’m sure she thought it was a good price to pay for the open water swim she got that day.

My 28th birthday

My birthday landed on a Thursday this year so I went to work like any ol’ day but came home to this wonderful little surprise…

Walking in the door I was greeted with a “Happy Birthday” banner

Then a batch of balloons, streamers, and a giant gift box.  What did I do to deserve such an amazing guy?!

What was in that giant box, you ask?  A sewing machine!  I’ve been wanting to learn to sew for years now and I am so excited to get started on these projects that I’ve been waiting to do forever now.

That night Jessie took me out to Yoshi’s in Oakland for some sushi and live music.  Yoshi’s is a pretty famous jazz club with locations in both Oakland and San Francisco and I’ve been wanting to go there for a while now.  The night we went, though, was a rare night of bluegrass music and not jazz but I was happy as a clam nevertheless!

A friend she met through her last job at the wine bar in Los Gatos happened to have three tickets to see his friend play the night of my birthday so she generously asked if I could tag along and alas, I ended up getting a fun night out on the town for my birthday!  Sure beat the alternative of me and Lola watching tv that night.  😉

The group was fantastic.  His friend (the blond on the left in the following photos) is now a featured musician at the club and will be performing with select musicians throughout the year.  For her debut she chose two women to perform bluegrass music with.  So the three of them aren’t really a band, this was the first time they ever played together, but boy were they amazing.  They played such a great mix of folk, bluegrass, and blues.

Here’s a video of the group performing one of their crazy-fast fiddle songs.

Jessie always has this amazing way of celebrating me for my birthday.  Last year she took me out to try escargot and then treated me to the Bridge School Benefit concert to see Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse, and Elton John, amongst others.  I sure got lucky in the sister department too!

The big plan for my birthday was to celebrate on Saturday night (so that Kevin could join in on the fun and not be at work) for some dinner and live music at Pena Pachamama in North Beach.  Pena Pachamama is a small, hole-in-the-wall Bolivian restaurant and music venue that serves mostly raw, organic food and has live music every weekend.  We reserved a table for 5 (me, Kevin, Jessie, Carleigh, and Scott) and spent a few hours there soaking in the amazing food and amazing sounds.

The girls! Me, Jess and Carleigh

Halfway through the show a few traditional Bolivian dancers came out to strut their stuff.

It didn’t take long for Carleigh and Scott to take over the dance floor!

Then me and Jess braved the floor as well…

Once the table full of intoxicated girls took over the dance floor we knew it was our cue to leave, so we danced our way out of the restaurant and onto the streets of North Beach.

Me and Kev outside of the restaurant

I had SUCH a good time with my dearest family and friends and could not have asked for a better birthday weekend.  And I couldn’t end this post without saying that the evening ended with me yelling out the car window to a trolley-full of tourists “It’s my birthday!” (after which said trolley-full of tourists yelled out “Happy Birthday!”) and then I yelled out “Occupy the trolley!” (and no, I was not one of those intoxicated girls I mentioned earlier, I was just on a high from good food, good music, and great company!).

Concrete slides, Corona Heights, and campfire

On January 15th Kevin, Lola and I went on another city adventure.  Our destination?  The Seward concrete slides!  These 40-foot concrete slides are side-by-side down a pretty steep hill in the middle of the Castro.  We had already gotten our thrills on the Bernal Heights slides (see the post about that visit at this link) and we’d been dying to check out these slides.

Lola, patiently waiting to get out of the car

Seward St. and Douglas St. in the Castro

“No adults unless accompanied by children”…oops.

[Insert holy music here]

It’s a long way down!

Kevin preparing the piece of cardboard he went down the slide on

Watch a video of Kevin and Lola going down the slide (click the link)!

Our beautiful day in the sun wasn’t quite over yet–we then made our way to Corona Heights dog park which we could see from the slides (the hill in the distance in the photo below).

Dangit, we brought the doggie shampoo and everything.

A gorgeous pit bull we made friends with

That night we had Carleigh, Scott and Bailey over for some homemade (from scratch!) pizza and a campfire!  Perfect way to end the day.

Christmas: The Long Beach edition

One of the biggest perks to working for a university (me) = two weeks off at Christmas!

One of the biggest bummers to working for business that is busiest during the holidays (Kev) = not able to spend Christmas day with family 🙁

BUT we were able to finagle a few days before Christmas for a quick, shotgun trip down south. We decided to surprise Kevin’s mom Dorothy so she was the only one in our families that didn’t know we were coming down. We had a good week or so of talking up how sad it was that we weren’t able to come down at all for the holidays…if only she knew…hehehehe.

Monday 12/20
After Kevin got off of work that afternoon we jumped in the car and made our way down to Long Beach. We got in around 1am Tuesday morning and after quickly saying hi to my mom, we hit the sack to get ready for our big surprise the next morning.

Tuesday 12/21
Kevin’s dad George helped with the surprise telling Dorothy that he had a doctor’s appointment that morning that he wanted her to go to with him. So our plan was for Kevin to call Dorothy on her cell phone and have her on the phone when we knocked on the door. Here are two videos of Operation: Surprise Dorothy for Christmas 2010! 😉

Kevin trying to make small talk with Dorothy as we prepare to get out in the rain and knock on the door
As you can see, we didn’t plan it out as well as we had hoped but we surprised her nonetheless! If you look closely in the background you can see Lola tear through the house running after their cat Sebastian! Hahah, poor thing!

Thomas was there and Judith, Joshua and Katelyn came over for a yummy breakfast of waffles, french toast, and bacon.

They were enthralled with the story Kevin was telling.

A little gift exchange…

Katelyn showing off her new shirt
Josh showing off his new shirt
Dorothy and George fighting over who gets to open the gift 😉
The bicycle glasses we got them!
Family photo! Kevin, me, Katelyn, Joshua and Judith (and Lola too)

We spent the whole day with the family and enjoyed a yummy spaghetti dinner together too.

Lola relaxing at the Edmonds’ home with Kevin

Wednesday 12/22
We met up with Thomas and his girlfriend Ashley for breakfast at The Potholder Cafe in Long Beach.

That afternoon we spent a few hours hanging out with my mom (like old times!) and then met up with my brother Derek, our friend Brian, my mom’s boyfriend Steve and the Chinese student living with my mom while he studies at CSULB Jeremy for dinner at Lucille’s BBQ (me and Kevin’s favorite chain restaurant!)

Lola and her new roommate Luke

Thursday 12/23
We woke up early so that me, Kevin and my mom could go to Westminster for our annual Chinese massage (annual for me and Kev, more often for my mom!) It was EXACTLY what we needed and we enjoyed it so much. My mom asked the guys to snap a few photos of us for proof, haha!

Kevin, the mummy
My mom and me

We then went to fill up our tummies with some yummy Chinese food at Seafood Cove #1.

That afternoon around 4pm we jumped back in our car and made our way back to San Francisco so that Kevin could be at work the next morning at 6am.

We were in LB right when the crazy rain was happening, but the clouds parted for us on the last day and the sun poked through, seemingly taunting us and begging us to stay! 😉

TDay 2010

This year Kevin had to work the days before and after Thanksgiving so we couldn’t make a trip down south–Jessie had to work the day of so we decided to host a small Thanksgiving dinner at her place in San Jose!

In the afternoon we were busy cooking and Skyping with Kevin’s family who were gathered at his parent’s house for the feast.

Dorothy and George
Kevin chatting away
Our beautiful nieces Katelyn and Sophie!
Thomas, Katelyn and Sophie posing for a photo

Even though it was only me, Kev and Jessie for the meal itself we ended up having one of the most delicious and entertaining Thanksgivings in recent memory!

The mansion Jessie lives in (literally! Check out the post I wrote about her building on move-in day here)

Started out with some Skyping with my family–this photo is of my mom and my Auntie Tina, but there also was my brother Derek, my Uncle Joey and my mom’s boyfriend Steve.

Jess got a free cooked crab from her boss so she proceeded to pound away at it.

Hahaha, that girl cracks me up!

So…dinner was amazing. Started out with some spanakopita, fried cheese balls, and dates stuffed with dark chocolate and walnuts.

And the main event! Mushroom stuffing, apple cranberry quinoa, collard greens, roasted cauliflower (and some tri-tip [not pictured] for the meat-eatin’ Kevin).

And three bottles of wine later…we started getting a little goofy.

The lipstick went on.
The feathers were donned.

So how do I look with bangs?? (No really, I want to know…I’m gonna get a haircut soon and want to know what you think! haha)
Socks were mismatched.
Kitties were cuddled.

And then the Delmar girls got into typical Delmar fashion and started posing for random photos…

But the highlight of the evening was by far this Christmas video. ENJOY and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the Delmar sisters! 🙂

North Beach, Coit Tower & Levi’s Plaza

Now that work isn’t crazy busy anymore I’ve made a goal to get out of the office once a day and go for at least a 30-40 minute walk. Generally I just walk down Embarcadero but that started to get boring so I looked up how close Coit Tower was and it turns out it’s only a 15 minute walk to the base of the staircase. Twice last week I walked up to Coit Tower and was amazed by how beautiful (and strenuous!) the walk was.

A random, funny mural at the base of the staircase: “No Dogs. Toy Poodles Okay.

Middle of the staircase (total number of stairs going up? 358. And yes, I counted them.

Gorgeous flowers in someone’s front yard–anyone know the name of them??

Filbert Steps

I would LOVE to live here, what a cute little “street”!

Someone’s adorable front yard

Almost there!

Thar she blows!

After raving about my lunch-time adventures, on Kevin’s day off on Saturday we decided to take advantage of one of the city’s last sunny days and go explore North Beach for brunch and then hike up to Coit Tower.

We really wanted to go to Mama’s Cafe for brunch but the line was ridiculous and we were starving so we Yelp app’d across Curly’s Coffee Shop. It didn’t look like too much on the outside…

But it ended up being a yummy breakfast spot! And turn’s out it’s a Japanese diner as well–interesting mix dontcha think?

Walking through North Beach we saw them painting over my favorite mural (see photo in old blog post here) to celebrate the SF Giants’ recent World Series win. I guess I’m okay with them painting over my favorite mural…

With bellies full and Lola in tow, we started off on the Barbary Coast Trail (aka Stockton Street) to the base of the tower (never really knew what those street markers were for all this time, but looked it up and you can see the info. at this link if you feel so inclined).

We took a slightly different path down the hill and saw some more really neat homes and yards.

Kinda funny, kinda creepy at the same time.

We ended up at Levi’s Plaza which I pass by everyday on the way to and from work and hadn’t spent much time there before. Lola was in HEAVEN with the grassy hills and the shallow river and since there weren’t many people around we let her off leash to explore.

I actually got a close-up of this fly! Not the prettiest insect, I’ll admit, but I thought it was cool that I got this shot before it buzzed off.

Video of Kevin and Lola playing around

Like a couple of kids

Last Wednesday as I worked from home and Kevin had the day off we took a quick little lunch break trip to Bernal Heights mini-park slides that Kevin had heard about on SF Secrets (if you’re ever in need of a good laugh, watch some of this guy’s videos, they’re hilarious!)

We were not disappointed!

There she is, in all her 40 feet of glory (or so someone online says, not sure if they got out there with their measuring tape or not…)

Lola racing Kevin up the hill

Kevin and his partner in crime

Me and my Lola girl

Me in front of the camera for a change

My oh-so-handsome husband

And to finish off…a video of Kevin and Lola going down the slide (if you watch closely you’ll notice Kevin lands on his rear at the bottom but he was pretty smooth with a quick save. And he thought no one would notice, ha!)

Hike to Mt. Davidson

While Kevin was at work 🙁 Lola and I spent Halloween morning taking a hike up Mt. Davidson. The three of us took a hike up to the top before in May (check out the post at this link) and it had been quite some time since we visited so I thought that sunny Sunday was the perfect opportunity.

Lola overlooking the city

Sutro Tower in Twin Peaks

There is so much greenery on Mt. Davidson, you’d swear you were in a rainforest and not in the middle of San Francisco! That really is one of the most amazing things about this city–the tons of nature refuges within such a big, bustling city. Here are some nature shots:

Instead of “Where’s Waldo?”, Where’s Lola?

Lola taking a water break from the water collected in a fallen log

Happy dog!

For your viewing pleasure, a video clip of our hike (if you listen carefully you can hear the wet ground and Lola panting hard in the background!)

Lola learns how to "roll over"

Thought I’d try a video blog post this time!

Don’t mind the big dork in the film, yeah the one in the pink sweater. Kevin says it sounds like I have a lisp…I swear I don’t! Maybe this will end up being my only video blog post, hmmm…