I thought I'd pop in to finally share what's been going on recently. Let's go back to a few weeks ago, when we enjoyed our last trip before baby. We started at my parents' house, including a stop at storage...
...to pull out baby stuff! We brought some back with us and left some for my parents to bring down to us when they visit next. I'm excited to start going through it all!
My parents had some famous "Brentwood corn" (corn grown in Brentwood, California, which is seriously delicious), and Marshall got to help shuck.
Saturday morning, Terry and I took off to San Francisco and left Marshall with my parents for the night! We stayed in Union Square at Hotel Abri. Great location, decent hotel and value, but nothing amazing.
The day we arrived, we took our very first Uber across the Golden Gate Bridge to take in some views and walk back across (first time
True to form, we couldn't settle on one location for our date, so we opted for a traveling date. First stop: a brand-new (week old) bar off Union Square for drinks (I got a virgin mojito). Delicious and great service!
Then we popped right next store for fried pickles and another drink for Terry at the craft beer bar.
Finally, dinner was a bunch of shared small plates, including bacon jam deviled eggs, a salad with pickled vegetables and buttermilk fried chicken,
and an incredible cod sandwich. SO good.
For breakfast we returned to Dottie's True Blue Cafe. The lines are long, and we've had pretty slow (but friendly) service both times, but the food is worth it! I chose an omelet with the jalapeno cornbread,
and Terry went with the carnitas quesadilla.
After barely 24 hours, we headed back on BART to see our little guy, and Chris and Ashley also arrived at my parents for a quick Father's Day lunch (err, more likely, to spend some time with their favorite nephew).
And then we drove back down to get home before another week of work. Now that we're done with all our travel through October, we're already excited about enjoying some time at home to ourselves, relaxing as much as possible and getting ready for our new addition in a few months.
Marshall is certainly getting ready and playing big brother to his doll. :-)
Reading with Daddy
Smoothies for a weekend breakfast!
A recent wedding
Since Father's Day was mostly spent on the road back home from our trip up north, I suggested we do a second Father's Day to really celebrate Terry, which included some homemade cinnamon rolls. Marshall and I loosely followed this recipe, and I've already informed Terry that we'll be adding these to our Christmas morning traditions!
We've tried a few other new recipes lately, too, including stuffed peppers (loosely followed this recipe, but used marinara instead of plain tomatoes and mozzarella instead of cheddar, no Swiss cheese).
And some blueberry lemon muffins, which weren't great (too lemony?), but good enough for the toddler.
Plus a BIG batch of marinara sauce for the freezer. I feel like it's still a bit early to intentionally make freezer meals for when baby arrives, but I assume some stuff might accidentally sit in there for three months, and I'll be thrilled to dig it out and have an easy meal ready to go!
A new park in our neighborhood opened last weekend!
I have a feeling we'll spend a lot of time here. It's not very shady (yet--they have trees planted, but they're not providing much shade as of now), so it'll be great for summer mornings, but I like the setup. It's entirely enclosed, pretty small, lots of benches, and closer than any other parks (big bonus!). It's also near our library, so we can stop on the way to or from getting books. It might also be less crowded than our other park for a while, so we can keep an eye on Marshall while giving him some independence once the little one arrives.
Marshall has been in a bit of a Mommy phase lately, but luckily it's not that he is at all resistant to spending time with Daddy. And thank goodness, because then I get adorable photos like these. <3
Super random, but on one of my walks at work recently I stopped for a quick photo of the back of Royce Hall. I love that I get to work at my alma mater and that UCLA happens to be such a beautiful place.
Fourth of July Weekend
Okay, finally caught up to now! I got off early Friday, so we picked up Marshall and headed to a local splash pad, which turned out to be a little overwhelming to Marshall. He watched the other kids play for a few minutes, then decided he wanted nothing to do with the water and insisted that we leave the area. So we tried out some big kid swings instead, which were a hit!
This weekend also marked our official transition to the toddler version of Marshall's crib. We wanted to make this transition well before baby comes so that Marshall has time to adjust (and we have time to catch up on sleep, if it's a rough transition). We want to avoid buying a second crib (our plan is just to switch Marshall to a real twin once baby is ready to use the crib, around 5 or 6 months), so this is a nice option for now. He fell asleep without incident each night, but in the mornings he's a little uneasy and calls for me. It's pretty adorable that he'll sit there, waiting for us to get him, apparently not realizing he can get out by himself! But for the most part, the transition has been smooth. Since it's virtually the same as his old crib, I think when he's half asleep he barely notices a difference.
Breakfast Saturday: pancakes. Marshall's favorite thing to "cook" in his kitchen.
Saturday we mostly took care of chores around the house, made a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond (I saved $30 because I had no fewer than SIX $5 off coupons...the cashier must have thought I was insane stockpiling all those!), and hosted Jenn, Justin, their baby Monroe (HE IS SO FRIGGIN CUTE!), and Jenn's friend from the Bay Area for an impromptu BBQ. Terry grilled a gigantic tri tip and absolutely nailed it. We used the meat for sandwiches and salads, and I think everyone went home happy.
On Sunday, we had big plans: A whole day with some of our best friends up in their neck of the woods (about 40 minutes from our house). We started at Underwood Family Farms for play time, meeting the animals, and strawberry picking!
Terry and I completely fell in love with strawberry picking and can't wait to go back (or find more farms) to pick more. It's certainly more of an experience than a farmer's market, and Marshall was pretty into it, too!
After lunch and naps and some much-missed adult time, we all headed to the pool. I was so excited to swim (last pregnancy I had plenty of opportunities to swim because we had a pool at our apartment, but this time we don't really have any access to a pool) and even completed a few laps between watching our little fish.
Then we loaded up our wagon caravan and headed to the annual Third of July celebration!
This thing was SO fun! Thousands of people, food trucks, music, kids' activities, picnicking, and fireworks. We attempted to make a potluck, and Katie brought an incredible couscous salad (<-- might be the recipe), and Heidi made some killer snickerdoodle blondies. I wanted to provide a chopped kale salad with nectarines, burrata, toasted almonds and pecans, and red onion, but the kale we bought at Costco was awful and ruined the entire thing. I was pretty embarrassed; luckily these people made me feel like it wasn't the end of the world. (We tried the salad again at home today, with better greens, and it really was delicious, so hopefully I can share it next time.)
Heidi is pregnant too (same time again! Kayla was born three weeks before Marshall, and now Heidi's baby is due about two weeks after ours)! Another bump photo!
We headed out early (before fireworks) because we had a long walk and a long drive home, but it was such a fun day. Perhaps a new tradition!
13,000+ steps later, this mama is TIRED and sore today.
Today, we are totally taking it easy. I'm even "slacking" (purposefully) on meal prep in favor of relaxing and enjoying the day off. We spent the morning at home (Marshall changed his doll's diaper and demonstrated awesome form, so we're putting him to work once the baby's born),
returning a few items at the mall, and whipping up a few just-for-fun goodies in the kitchen, including our first batch of homemade popsicles (fresh strawberries combined with coconut water) and a huge four-berry cobbler (straw-, black-, blue-, and rasp-), using this recipe.
We're reluctantly heading into another week, but only four days until the next weekend of family time and fun!
Happy Fourth of July to all of you!