Saturday, May 26, 2012

Busy Weekend

Last weekend was a busy weekend but also super fun. A friend had a business trip in the area, so he stuck around until Sunday morning. On Thursday night we went out to dinner at Orenchi Ramen. John showed Alex how to use chopsticks, but Alex wanted to use them as swords and drumsticks. In the end, Alex liked the noodles.

On Friday evening we went to a barbecue in Redwood City with John's co-workers. Alex had fun playing with the other kids and getting his face painted. He decided on Spiderman like one of the other little boys. We all had a great time, but Alex was having so much fun that I could not get him to stop playing to eat dinner.

We headed North again on Saturday to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, and Muir Woods. We stopped near the bridge for some pictures, and then headed into Sausalito for lunch.

We had lunch at Fish in Sausalito since we liked the restaurant so much on our first visit. It was a nice day to sit outside and look at the boats.

Then we drove into the mountains to Muir Woods. I like hiking in the mountains, but I don't like driving on the narrow mountain roads (even as the passenger). This was our first trip to Muir Woods and we had a great three mile hike. My pictures do not do the woods justice.

On Sunday we went to Maker Faire, which will have its own blog post. This weekend we do not have much planned and I am looking forward to just hanging out at home.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Drawing and Drums

Alex is learning about the ocean at school. Last night before bed he told us that "Octopus squirt ink." The other night he drew a jellyfish and it actually looked like a jellyfish. He has moved from scribbling to drawing. It is fun to watch him draw people. At one point, Daddy had twenty eyes. He drew himself with "yellow" hair.

Alex's daycare is on a high school campus, so sometimes they watch the marching band practice. I asked Alex what instrument he wants to play when he is older. First he said "shakers." I asked him if he meant maracas. Yes, "racas". He would also like to play the xylophone and drums.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Take Twelve: May

May was my second month trying Ella Publishing's Take Twelve photography challenge. I enjoyed taking lots of photos on a busy Saturday and using my iPhone. The only photo editing done to these photos was cropping.

As long as I can sleep until 7:00 or 7:30 AM on the weekends, I am happy. There is not much sleeping in with Alex and two dogs.

We are getting settled in to the Bay Area after our big move. I had my first appointment with a new primary care physician on Saturday morning so that I did not have to take any time off from work. Her Saturday hours were at the fancy office in Mountain View. The Chihuly Glass hangs in the atrium and the fountain is outside.

Once I was back home, Alex convinced us to take a walk to the nearby elementary school. He wanted to ride his bike and play on the playground. He briefly parked his bike at the bike rack.

We took our lunch to Ortega Park to eat outside and play. The water feature was turned on, so we let Alex play in there for a while. It is good that I keep a change of clothes in the car.

After the park we went couch shopping and bought one at JC Penny. John "photo-bombed" my picture of the new couch, which will be delivered soon.

This is the "grassy area" near our apartment. We go here daily to walk the dogs, and it is a good play area for Alex.

Here is Frida on our afternoon walk.

And Paddy too

I made black bean tacos for dinner. I like that it is quick and healthy dinner.

We read to Alex each night before bed. On Saturday evening John read him a Richard Scary book from the library.

Monday, May 14, 2012

10 Things

Welcome to the Mother's Day edition of 10 Things. My post is a little late this month, but my list is 10 Things that I Learned from my Mom. I certainly learned more things from her than I can count, but here are the things that came to mind first:

1. "Actions speak louder than words."
It used to drive me nuts when Mom would say this, but I know how true it is.
2. "You can have it all but not all at once."
It applies to life in general, but especially to being a working mother.
3. That trust is important and it is easier to keep someone's trust than try to earn it back after losing it
I knew as a teenager that losing my parents' trust would be worse than any other punishment.
4. How to keep money organized
I still keep the bills in my wallet going the same direction and from smallest amount to largest amount.
5. How to shop sales and for a good value
I learned about buying quality over just a name brand and to look for a good deal.
6. How to calculate a sales price or tip in my head
If I wanted to buy anything on sale when shopping with my mom, I had to calculate the sale price in my head and tell her. This also comes in handy when calculating tips at restaurants.
7. How to take care of a puppy
I wanted a puppy when I was ten. I learned a lot about responsibility while learning to take care of Corky.
8. How to be a volunteer and organize events
I remember being at my mom's side while she ran the Pancake Breakfasts at Aullwood Farm. My first lessons in event planning came from my mom, including the main lesson of how to work hard.
9. How to cook
There were a few cooking mishaps over the years, but I can cook enough basic meals to keep my family fed.
10. How to clean
It something was not done right, I had to go back and fix it.

I hope that all of the moms out there had a wonderful Mother's Day. I love being a mom to Alex!

If you want to read more blog posts from 10 Things on the 10th of the month, click over to Shimelle's blog.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How I Started Scrapbooking

I started scrapbooking to save money. I know that the scrapbookers who read my blog right now are probably laughing at this! It turns out that scrapbookers are more known for collecting supplies than saving money. Here is the story...

Before my wedding, I saw a scrapbook that a friend made of her honeymoon and really liked it. I was familiar with scrapbooking and had probably attended a Creative Memories party at some point. My wedding was my motivation to start scrapbooking. The formal wedding albums from my photographer were expensive. I decided to just order prints and make my own scrapbook to save money. (It is ok if you are still laughing at this...)

Once we got settled into living in San Antonio, I started learning more about scrapbooking. I visited a couple of scrapbook stores and bought a kit at Barnes and Noble. I practiced with my kit and some other photos, but then I decided to take classes. I wanted to learn more before tackling my wedding photos. I took classes, made layouts, and finally made a wedding album a couple of years later. By that time, I had become a "scrapbooker" and had started collecting supplies. I found a hobby that I really enjoyed and later added stamping to my paper crafting hobby. Looking back, it would have been less expensive to buy the fancy album from my wedding photographer, but I am so glad that I became a scrapbooker in my process of trying to save money.

My story was inspired by Sian's Story Telling Sunday (a few days late) and a question asked on the Two Peas in a Bucket Facebook page for (inter)National Scrapbook Day. I won a $10 gift certificate to the Two Peas store for sharing my story. I started my cart at their online store and of course it will exceed $10...

Monday, May 7, 2012


I FINALLY bought an iPhone! My husband has accused me of being a luddite before, but this was more about being frugal. My last cell phone upgrade in 2009 was FREE, and my monthly phone bill was small. What pushed me into the 21st century? Early in the week I received my first paycheck from my new job, and things are settling down after our big move. Then, my mom got an iPhone this week. On Saturday, I was in and out of the Sprint store in about thirty minutes with a new phone in hand. (And a case because I am clumsy.)

The iPhone gets its own blog post since I know that it will change how I communicate, take photos, and more. I love using messaging and FaceTime to connect with my family and friends. I expect this phone to replace my point-n-shoot camera. I enjoyed taking the scenic route home from a playgroup this afternoon knowing that I had maps on my phone to help me if I got lost.

Here are a couple of photos from my iPhone taken yesterday. John and Alex were playing "basketball."