Thursday, June 28, 2012

Three Weeks Ago...

...we moved to California.  It feels crazy because of those three weeks, I've spent 13 days actually in California.  We came to Wisconsin last week for the wedding of our dear friends, Seth and Laura.  It was a wonderful wedding - you know, one of those weddings where you can just feel the love pouring out of the church and floating around the reception.  Seriously thankful that we could be a part of it.

On Sunday night, Nate flew back to California and Louisa and I flew to Washington DC to meet Oliver and visit with my mom, dad, Sarah and Dan.  Oliver is the best.  When Louisa was a baby, everyone would come up to me and say things like, "enjoy it while it lasts," and "I can hardly remember mine being that small."  Seeing Oliver makes those redundant comments ring true.  Louisa seems like a giant with a stubborn mind of her own while Oliver cycles through his daily routine of feeding, gazing, sleeping, pooping, feeding...

Today we went to the zoo.  I thought there might be some animals to photograph Lou with, but not so much.  We did see two pandas, lots of lizards and snakes, zebras, an orangutan and various "small mammals".  Louisa enjoyed the animals, but not as much as the misters that cooled her off.

Considering the Cows
Feeling at home with the farm animals
The grass is always greener
In case you can't see, it's the hoof (of a donkey)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day, uhhh, 13?

So about that 30 day blogging series...

Well, we moved into the house we're renting on Saturday and I've used every spare moment Louisa leaves me with to unpack and make our home.  We also didn't get internet until today.  So here's the house!  It's great.  There is an awesome farmers' market 4 blocks away and today Lou and I walked to Walgreens and the post office (1.8 miles round trip).  It's a corner lot all fenced in, so Ries is pretty excited too!

She actually did attempt to climb the ladder

Louisa in the "bath" - an under-the-bed sweater bin

Love, love, love the big kitchen

Ries feels right at home

My favorite corner: cookbooks, coffee and wine

We didn't have to give up our front porch afterall

Louisa giving the grand tour

Big windows and wood floors throughout

Ugh. The mess in the backyard.  We bought that shed last night to store bikes and brewing supplies

I'd tell you more, but I have to shower and pack before Nate gets home from work because we're leaving for the airport in a couple of hours.  I'm so looking forward to a red-eye flight with teething, fever-y, squirmy Louisa :).  Sarcasm aside, I am looking forward to 4 days in Madison for Laura and Seth's wedding, then 6 days in Washington DC to meet baby Oliver!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 5: Friday, June 15

Today: Anne's birthday, Nate's fifth day at work & a good day to be a stay-at-home mom. Louisa and I dropped Georgia off at a train station in Oakland so she could meet up with Fury and drive to Oregon for a tournament.  Then we went and met my friend Jess, pictured here with a rather scary spider, for a picnic lunch during her lunch break at work. 

Jess, in South America, with a really big spider
 Jess and I went to high school together and have managed to see each other about once a year since then.  She is a registered dietitian at La Clinica in Oakland (50 minutes from San Jose), although recently decided that she is moving back to Colorado to be closer to her family.  One of my favorite memories with Jess is from our post-college days.  Jess was living in Fort Collins when I was in Denver and one Saturday we were going to climb a fourteen-er, so Jess and her friend picked me up on Friday night.  When you summit a mountain over 14,000 feet, you have to start very early in the day in order to get off the summit by the time clouds/weather roll in.  Well, that wasn't adventurous enough for Jess and her friend, so they were going to hike a nearby peak in the middle of night.  I declined, as sleep was (and still is) too precious to give up like that, and slept in the car while they attempted the summit.  I think the story finishes with a dead battery in a headlamp and two 22 year-old girls coming back to the car, admitting that climbing a mountain in the middle of the night is not all it's cracked up to be.

So this visit with Jess involves no mountains or dead batteries, but it was a lovely lunch.  Afterward we drove back to San Jose, stopping at Target on the way to get Lou some croc-like shoes.  She needed some footwear that can get wet and although Target sells baby flip-flops with a back-strap, I didn't think she'd like the thong between her toes.  The crocs are cute - lime green - and she seems to like them. With that all-important errand taken care of, we went back to the apartment for a nice AC-ed nap (for Lou, not me. I watched Say YES to the Dress).  Lou's whole body was hot and she was so sleepy and cuddly all afternoon and evening.  I think she has her first fever and I kind of like it. 

After Lou's nap we picked Nate up from work and went to Whole Foods to get food for dinner.  Nate felt like steak and I wanted fish.  The salmon-burger I decided on wasn't great, but the ambiance at dinner was fantastic.  We ate outside near the apartment complex grills and I had all I needed: a sweet baby girl, a fluffy dog and Nate.
Helping Dad grill dinner
It's not cool to smile at the camera

Tomorrow: Flag Day & the day we move into our rental house.  I'll try to take some pictures of the house tomorrow!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Days 2, 3 & 4 (June 12-14)

Whoops!  Apparently this daily blog series is not gonna happen.  Here's a recap:

Tuesday:  Nate's second day at work.  He's in software training, so not much to report.  Although he would say that even if there was something to report, he can't tell you about it.  What did Lou and I do?  It's hard to say.  Ah - the money order.  Our landlord asked for a cashier's check, but upon calling our bank in Madison, I learned that obtaining one would take 1+ days.  So I asked the landlord if a money order would be okay.  Yes, he said.  Difficult still, I found, only because rent is sooooo ridiculously expensive out here so I had to get special approval from our bank to use our debit card to purchase the money order.  Ugh.  After five or six calls to our bank and a visit to two different post offices, I finally arrived at the landlord's office.  Of course he wasn't there and forgot to leave the key to our new house.  Luckily I had Lou's stroller in the trunk, so Lou, Ries and I went for a walk while we waited for him.  Monday I neglected to spend enough time at home for Lou to spend enough time in her pack-n-play, so Tuesday was different.  Once I had the key to our new home in my hand, we drove back to our apartment in San Jose and Lou took a nice long nap.

Wednesday:  Nate's third day at work.  Still training, nothing to report.  Louisa and I dropped him off at work and then came back home for the all-important nap.  She slept while I half-heartedly looked at jobs.  Then we went to check out a place I'd love to work: Cucini Bambini.  It's in Willow Glen which seems to be a very desirable place to live and a suburb of San Jose. Then we went to make sure the key to the new house worked (before making a copy) and explored the wonderful things within walking distance, including a yoga studio, park, paved bike trail, coffee shops and dog grooming studio.  All very important, right?  I actually signed up for Groupon (San Jose) while Lou as napping and bought one for the yoga studio 0.4 miles from our house.

Thursday:  Georgia, Louisa and I went the Monetery Bay Aquarium (1.25 hour drive from our apartment).  We watched her participate in the sea otter show with her co-workers from last summer.  Unfortunately Louisa liked the steps in the deep sea exhibit better than the deep sea creatures, but it was still a fun day.  From Monterey we drove to Santa Cruz (1 hour drive) to drop Georgia off at a friend's for dinner.  Then back to San Jose (45 minute drive) to pick Nate up from work.  Louisa managed to squeeze a two hour nap in during the drive from Monetery to San Jose. Nate's now giving her a bath while I write and drink a glass of two-buck-chuck.  It's great that it's actually two bucks here in California!  Whew.  Just as I expected, I'm exhausted! 
Exploring the sea in little capris

Lou's nap started before the drive home

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 1: Monday, June 11

Georgia was out in California to practice with Fury before traveling to Japan for Worlds this summer, so she stayed with us on Sunday night.  Nate still has to learn the Apple shuttle routes, so for now, I'm driving him to and from work. While I was gone, Georgia worked on Lou's ability to emote:

On Nate's first day at Apple, Louisa, Georgia and I explored the valley.  First we showed Georgia our rental house at 235 N 2nd Street, Campbell CA and then had lunch at Stacks.  After lunch we drove to Palo Alto to check out a park with a splash pad and a dog run:

"Aunt Georgia, where's the water?"

"Oh, I guess it's not that cool anyway"
Next, we dropped Georgia off in San Carlos so she could visit with Maggie and Gordon and their girls.  Too much fun, not enough work, right?!  Well, I tried to squeeze in a money order purchase for our new landlord, but alas, it was after 5 pm in Wisconsin and our bank was closed.  More about that tomorrow...

Monday, June 11, 2012

California Love

We arrived in San Jose on Thursday afternoon.  The flight was easy, despite traveling with Louisa, Ries and 8 pieces of checked luggage (6 suitcases + monstrous car-seat + stroller).  Our carry-ons included a backpack each, soft-sided dog crate and a small rolling suitcase filled with our camera and other electronics.  We were cramped back in the last row of the plane, but didn't mind because we had three seats to ourselves.  The stewardesses were kind enough to let Ries ride on our laps once we took off.

All in all, it went smoothly.  Nate picked up the rental car while I waited with Lou, Ries and our stuff.  We drove right to our high-rise apartment and moved right in.  After a trip to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Marshalls, we felt right at home.  Well, not really - since our apartment is like a giant hotel room, but its clean, quiet, and temporary, so it's great!

My idea is to write a 30 day series on being a stay at home mom in San Jose/Campbell.  This way I'll feel encouraged to get out and explore and have a mini-job in the evenings after Louisa goes to sleep (ie to write about what we did and rate my desire to get a job).  My fear is that being a full-time stay-at-home mom will be exhausting compared to my sweet schedule back in Madison, but I guess we'll see!

Louisa eating dinner with the freeway buzz behind her

Nate making dinner the first night: chicken on greens with goat cheese, pecans, blueberries and dried cranberries

Ries, depressed after learning that she was not living with Kip forever

Trying to brighten the "blah" apartment

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Welcome Baby Oliver!

We miss you, Matthew!  We want to meet you, Oliver! (May 28, 2012)

You are so cute, Oliver Darwin Langenkamp! (June 5, 2012)

Walking the Dog

See Where Our Pictures Were Taken