Been so long … it’s not even funny …

Yeah … it’s been about 2 years.

My excuses?  We moved.  We settled in.  We moved back out and renovated.  Then we moved back in.  I got a new job, a way harder job. We’ve just been too busy “being” and “doing” to reflect as much as we’d like. The good news, we never stopped taking photos.  So we’re going to take a broad sweep, get some photos out there, but never “catch up”.

2013

View photos of the end of Malina’s 2nd year of preschool!

View photos of Logan turning 2!

View photos of our Father’s Day Hike!

View photos of our fun times play with blocks, our bikes, and riding trains!

View photos of us playing, hanging with friends, and petting chickens!

View photos of us traveling around Colorado! These photos are totally out of order, but include a wonderful family reunion in Montezuma, CO, a few days in Telluride, a trip to Estes National Park, and visits with friends in Denver.

2015
We spent spring break 2015 in and around Mt. Shasta – check out our adventures!

Pacific Northwest Trip

Kaia's playground High-school friends + babies Swimmer friend + babies Chillin in Seattle

We spent 9 days in the Pacific Northwest during the rainiest season of the year! But it was still a wonderful trip :)

We saw more friends than I had ever thought possible! We stayed with Jessica’s high school friend Lindsey, her husband Dave, and daughter Kaia for a few days. Another high school friend, Kathryn flew in with her son, James, and they also stayed with us there. So it was like a big slumber party!! We spent the days chasing the kids around the house, playgrounds and museums, and spent the evenings catching up. It was great!! We also saw family friend’s the McMath’s, along with their 4 kids and 8 grand-kids! Another highlight was going to Ann-Marie’s (another high school friend) parents’ home to see Ann-Marie’s family, which included a sweet newborn baby boy! It was like old times at her parents home, everything looked the same, but our lives had all changed so much over the years.

Then we moved downtown for a few days (thank you Dana) and stayed at a great Kimpton hotel, which was super kid friendly. While there, I managed to catch up with all of Emily’s old swimmer friends: Dana, Kelly and Hillary! Jessica had some adult time out on the town with great friend Jen, and we also met up with Jessica’s cousin Seth on Northwest 23rd for lunch. The kids enjoyed riding the trains downtown and playing along the waterfront. Our last big hurrah while in Portland was a potluck party set up by Jessica’s old sorority sisters. So much fun visiting with everyone, but definitely threw the kids off their schedule with all the socializing and events.

Next we headed up to Seattle to see two families from our Wharton days. We stayed with Amy and Z and their adorable twins Gabe and Zara for two nights and filled the days with parks, walks and playgrounds. We also met up with the Sharma family and their newest addition, little Alex.

View photos of our trip to Portland and Seattle

Thanksgiving 2012 – Florida and Alabama!

We decided to visit both sides of the family this Thanksgiving! First we flew to Jacksonville to see Grandpa Chuck as well as Great Uncle Larry and Great Aunt Alice for several days. It was a long day of travel, with 2 flights and 2+ hours of driving, which meant 8am PST to 2am EST from door to door. The kids did really well, considering, but they were so tired when we arrived in Flagler Beach. We went to the beach and toured the historic town of St. Augustine. We also took walks around their Larry and Alice’s neighborhood, visited local playgrounds and had breakfast at a great brunch spot. We celebrated an early Thanksgiving on Wednesday and enjoyed Alice’s amazing food. Malina enjoyed making a special apple cake with Aunt Alice. All in all, it was a great visit! Continue reading

Wharton Family Reunion in Kauai – 2012

We spent a fun filled week in Kauai with great friends!! A total of four couples and five children made the trip (from SF, Dallas, Seattle and NYC) and we all stayed in one big house in Poipu Beach. It had been a few years since we’d all seen each other, and we planned this trip around Amy’s 40th birthday party. It also happened to fall on our 7-year wedding anniversary, which was a bonus. It was wonderful, wild, chaotic, exhausting and tons of fun all at the same time. It was great staying together because during naps and after the kids all went to bed, we were able to hang out together and catch up over dinner and drinks. We took turns cooking and even splurged on a private chef one night. We took a few day trips around the island; the highlights were Waimea Canyon and Kauai’s north shore. Otherwise, we spent most of our time at a kiddie beach that was shallow, calm and full of sea-life!

View photos of our trip to Kauai

Logan is 10 months old!

As usual, it was a busy month, and this time I’ve broken the photos down into three groups: Washington DC, Maryland, and San Francisco.

The family flew East for Chuck’s cousin’s (Steve) wedding. We spent a few days in Georgetown before heading down to rural Maryland. We spent our time catching up with friends and sightseeing. Chuck got together with a high school friend and MBA school friends… he really made the rounds! Malina had a great playdate with our friends and their daughter in Bethesda. Unfortunately, we were there during a heat wave and it was definitely the warmest weather poor little Logan had ever endured!

We took the scenic route down to Nichole’s (Chuck’s cousin) house in Newberg, MD. She and her family live in a beautiful home on a huge farm, and were kind enough to let us stay with them for a few nights. Malina was so excited to meet her cousin Sydney and learn all about life on a farm. Sydney has her own goats, and Malina was fascinated by this. Logan loved *riding* all the farm equipment. Grandma Lisa and Grandpa Chuck drove up from Florida for the festivities, so the kids got a lot of quality time with the grandparents … they also helped us out a lot by watching the kids so we could have a bit of a break. The entire family attended Steve’s wedding, which was held on a nice vineyard. It was great to see so many of Chuck’s family members, but and I can honestly say that it’s going to be a LONG time before I bring our kids to another wedding. It was rough. But at the same time it was great to socialize with everyone and enjoy a beautiful wedding. The following day, Nichole hosted a huge family reunion, full of wonderful company and great food!!

Jessica’s family (Grandma Robin, Grandpa Ken, and GG) came to San Francisco for for the holidays. We went out for a fancy dinner one night (sans kids) to celebrate GG’s 85th birthday, Grandma Robin’s birthday, and Aunt Emily’s acceptance into PhD programs at both MIT and Stanford (we are very proud of her)!! We had a nice Passover Seder one night, a first for Chuck, Rob, Malina and Logan! We also visited a new kiddie museum that had a carousel. All in all, it was a great visit, but felt too short!

Judging by Logan’s size, I am sure you can tell that Logan is an eater! He literally eats anything and everything I put in front of him. He has tried every vegetable I can think of and hasn’t rejected any, not even kale! He seems to have a love for carbs as well, and tolerates chicken when I puree it. Since he gobbles everything up, we haven’t had to add too much fruit into the mix to sweeten it up. I just hope it stays this way.

Logan has had a busy month learning how to move. In a matter of one week he started to crawl, learned to pull up to standing on his own, and *walk* while we hold onto his arms. He absolutely loves being supported in the standing position and protests when he set him down! Logan seems to be far more interested in getting into things than Malina was. Yep, it’s officially time to re-babyproof our house! Logan also cut 4 teeth this month and none of them have seemed to bother him at all. He is so even-keeled, it’s wonderful! The only time he cries is when he is over tired… it seems as though he really likes to be on a strict schedule. My favorite new action this month is his waving goodbye and saying “BYE BYE” at the top of his lungs when someone leaves the room or the house. It is adorable. Otherwise, he is working on all the standard babble words, ma ma, da da, ya ya, ba ba, and he has even started throwing in some sounds with more syllables recently. And the runner up cutest thing is his laugh, he giggles when we tickle him, when his sister is around, and when he sees his reflection in the mirror.

Malina continues to grow and amaze us every day. She is turning into an independent little lady who has her own set of preferences! She picks out all her own clothes and dresses herself for the most part (but does have to ask which way is forwards on her undies). Her favorite color continues to be orange, so most days of the week she is sporting one of her orange items. He vocabulary and sentence structure are amazing. Often times I forget that I am talking to an almost 3-year-old. She is getting really strong and loves to hang onto bars at the playground! She is strong enough to hold herself in the air for several seconds. Malina’s life is pretty exciting, full of pre-school activities, birthday parties, playdates, excursions, museums, and visitors. BUT, her favorite activity with Mom is “project Friday”!! Each Friday we do something fun together, just the two of us for 3 hours or so. Two weeks ago we started several planting/seed projects and every few days we talk about them again as we watch them grow and change.

View photos of Georgetown
View photos of Maryland
View photos of Logan’s tenth month

Logan is 6 months old

It is hard to believe that Logan is halfway to his first birthday! Where has the time gone?!? Logan is a very easy baby, so I feel that we’ve truly taken the time to just enjoy his presence and have a lot of fun with him. He is always so happy (unless he is hungry) and just a joy to be around. He has the best gummy grin and just loves to be around people.

The major event this month was Thanksgiving. We hosted at our house this year, and even broke out our fancy china! We had Jessica’s parents, grandma, sister, and sister’s boyfriend over as well as the Marinova Family (friends of our from Bulgaria). It was a great evening full great food and fun :) Emily and Rob stayed the night and in the morning Rob played this guitar for us, and even gave Malina a chance to play it herself – lucky girl!!

During the past month we’ve had lots of firsts:
> first major holiday (Thanksgiving)
> first flight (Utah – and he slept the entire way)
> first time in freezing weather/snow (looking at Xmas lights in Salt Lake City in 16-degree weather)
> first night sleeping without a swaddle (and he did great)
> first “bad sweater” party (at the Peterson’s)
> first solid food (butternut squash)

Malina is really becoming a little girl. Her favorite color is orange and she knows what she wants, which includes picking out her own clothes (usually orange) and choosing what to eat at mealtime. She is really enjoying preschool; she has made her own friends and become very interested in art projects (glue, specifically). Her vocabulary continues to grow and amaze us. She speaks in full sentences and can really convey her feelings, recall events from the past and talk about things in the future that she is looking forward to. She also has a great sense of direction. We will be walking around our neighborhood and she knows what is what and will recall the last time she was there and what she did. Amazing :)

View photos of Logan’s sixth month

Family Trip to Utah!

We flew to Salt Lake City to spend a long weekend with old friends. The main event was Kathryn’s baby shower, but it was also an opportunity to meet all the new babies that have been born in the past several months (Kaia, Briella and Logan).

It was Logan’s first flight and he did incredibly well … he slept the entire flight (both ways). Malina had her own seat; we used a CARES Harness (for additional safety), and she did very well with it. Our outbound flight was delayed, so the pilot let her spend several minutes in the cockpit pressing buttons!!

Kathryn and Eric have a beautiful (and large) home, so all of our families were able to stay in one place. It felt like a big slumber party. It was nice for all of the moms to commiserate in the middle of the night as we were all feeding/shushing our non-sleeping babies.

As far as activities went, we threw a baby shower for future Baby Boy Dahlin, we had a professional photographer photo-shoot, we threw a surprise baby shower for Baby Briella, the entire crew ate dinner out (during which Logan “blew out” of his diaper) and we walked around Temple Square to check out the Christmas lights in 16-degree weather!

It was such a great weekend, but a total whirlwind. I hope we can do it again every year :)

View photos of our quick trip to Utah

Southern California Trip – March 2011

We decided to squeeze in one last trip before Jessica enters her no fly window. We had originally dreamed of Turkey, then got a bit more realistic and settled on London, then got even more realistic and chose Mexico … and then finally booked a trip to Southern California based on several constraints. That said, we had a great time and managed to pack the trip full of visits with family and friends as well as lots of little toddler focused excursions.

While in LA we went to Santa Monica Pier and the Third St Promenade. We also saw 2 sets of friends, each with a baby named Cooper :) And last but not least, we celebrated Malina’s Great Grandmothers 84th birthday! On the drive down to San Diego we stopped over for a nap in Laguna and visited our newly transplanted friend Megan, who is due 2 weeks after Jessica. What a beautiful spot!

In San Diego we went to the huge Balboa Park and met up with Chuck’s sister in law, Kari. We also took Malina to the amazing San Diego Zoo, we got there at 9am when they opened and were ushered out the gates as they closed at 5pm. Malina didn’t take a nap and we didn’t ride a single tram. Mom and Dad were SO TIRED by the end of the day. We checked out the La Jolla Sea Caves and Malina loved the sea-lions, she even mimicked their bark. We also visited with good friend Sarah along with her new baby Lila in Del Mar. It was a fun filled and busy trip! In addition to the photos, we’ve uploaded a few videos from the trip (scroll down).

View photos of our trip to Los Angeles and San Diego.

We also have several videos from the trip :)

Great Grandma’s 84th Birthday!

Spinning at the park with Dad! You know sometimes they say Dads play a bit rougher than Moms do? Well this is a perfect example of that in action!

Visiting the Giraffes

Visiting the Pandas

Baby Bigelow baby shower in Denver

Jessica and two other friends hosted a baby shower weekend extravaganza for Lindsey in Denver, CO. Jessica has known Lindsey since junior high school, and they have remained close over the years! Lindsey was a traveling nurse for quite a while, and did 2 stints in SF, which were a lot of fun!!

Lindsey and her husband Dave now live near Breckenridge, CO, so we decided to host the event in “the city”. Thirteen people flew or drove in to help Lindsey celebrate Baby Bigelow! This number didn’t include significant others and children who were there also. As luck would have it, Chuck got the weekend off work (for the most part), so he and Malina went with Jessica to CO, but weren’t part of the main events. However, the two of them did have some great bonding time together!!

The itinerary included spa time, a girls lunch, walks around town (it was freezing), a large group dinner (families invited as well), and a brunch just for the girls. In addition to all of this, we made a few side plans to see friends Lauren/Trent who were visiting CO at the same time, Wharton friends Kate/Patrick/Teddy who now live in CO, and Jessica’s cousins the Hamilton/Bloombaums.

It was an exhausting and chaotic 3 days but well worth it! As usual, I wish we had taken more photos, we missed entire events, but I guess those parts will have to remain memories.

View photos of our weekend in Denver.

Sedona Trip

We spent 5 fun filled days in Sedona, AZ with Grandpa Chuck, Grandma Lisa, Uncle Brad and Aunt Jeanna. Lisa’s friends JoAnne and Russell were in town part of the time as well.

While visiting we checked out downtown Sedona, went on a hike in the red-rocks (it was hot), went 4x4ing in Brad’s new ride, celebrated Brad and Jeanna’s birthdays, took long walks, played at play grounds, and just relaxed! It was great to see everyone and catch up.

View photos of our trip to Sedona.

Marina Del Rey with GG

We went down to Los Angeles for the weekend to spend a few days with Great Grandma Florence. We went to parks and the beach, we swam and played, we got together with friends and enjoyed the warm weather.

Now that Malina is walking, she wants to walk everywhere. She knows the words “walk” and “down” so anytime I pick her up, that is what I hear. She also loves stairs. She can go up very well but doesn’t understand how gravity works on the way down. GG lives in a 3 story townhouse, and (obviously) doesn’t have gates … so we were constantly sprinting after Malina.

View photos of Marina Del Rey.

Birmingham in June

Malina’s nanny took a week of vacation in mid June, which meant we had to take a week of vacation as well :) We flew to Jessica’s parents place in Birmingham, AL and spent the week exploring while avoiding the intense heat. We took Malina into her first cave (a lovely 68 degrees), we went swimming, and we went to a friends Lake House. Grandma Robin and Grandpa Ken both still work full time, but they enjoyed spending time with Malina in the mornings and evenings.

Grandpa Chuck and Grandma Lisa, who are back to work as well, drove up from Florida for a few days!! Malina was thrilled to see them and giggled at each of Grandpa Chuck’s silly faces. They played with her 2 days straight and helped out at mealtime! They brought her an adorable little backpack with feet (see photos) that she loves to fill it with her toys for now.

Malina enjoyed having all 4 loving grandparents around, so she decided to take her first steps in their presence! Mom and Dad missed the milestone, but we believe them that it happened ;) It was also fun to have our families together for a few days. Who would have ever thought that everyone would end up in the South?!?!

View photos of our trip to Birmingham, AL.

Malina is ONE YEAR old!!

Month 12 was a great month for our family! We used up Chuck’s final week of paternity leave by taking a little family vacation to Park City, Utah. We took advantage of off-season rates and great spring skiing weather. While there, Malina graduated from her dolphin crawl to a more traditional crawl. She felt snow for the first time and rode a gondola to 11,000 feet of elevation! We also went to Sundance (thanks Kath), checked out Olympic Park, and hiked in the Mirror Lake wilderness area. Malina had some sleep issues along the way, but otherwise, quite a fun trip.

Once back in San Francisco, Malina got very comfortable pulling up on everything and at each opportunity would open a drawer or cabinet and empty it in a matter of seconds. We have tried to teach her that putting everything back in is fun too, but she doesn’t seem to agree.

Malina’s vocabulary has shot up this month. She now says about 8 words, most of which start with “b”. She is clearly more focused on vocab than walking because she hasn’t shown much interest yet. We are enjoying the calm before the storm :)

We decided to have an informal party for Malina’s first birthday. Jessica’s family happened to be on the West Coast for a wedding the previous weekend, so they stuck around for the festivities. We had Great Grandma Florence, Grandma Robin and Grandpa Ken here for a few days. Now that Auntie Em lives in the Bay Area again, she was at the celebration along with many of Malina’s baby friends and a few of ours as well. We asked friends to bring non-perishable items instead of gifts (thanks for the idea Abby), so Malina made her first charitable donation to the San Francisco Food Bank!

We can’t believe our little baby is ONE!! Time truly flies.

View photos of Malina’s twelfth month.

Malina is 9 months old!!

This month, Malina traveled to Seattle to visit Chuck and Jessica’s business school friends, Amy, Zvonimir, Tracy, Doug, Saurabh, Ann and Suzanne. While there, Jessica hosted a babies shower for Amy (she’s expecting twins!), which included a diaper cake and other delectable treats. In addition to meeting our business school buddies, Malina also got to meet Jessica’s long-time friend Terence, his wife Sandy and their new baby boy, Owen.

Don’t think Malina had all the fun though! Chuck and Jessica also took some time off from their parenting duties this month. First, we went to Bill and Kara’s wedding in Berkeley, where Bill and Kara entered their reception wearing boxing gloves and dancing to the title song to Rocky. Second, Jessica and her fellow Golden Gate Mom’s Group moms went out for a night on the town while Chuck stayed home with Malina for some quality father/daughter bonding.

View photos of Malina’s ninth month.

Malina is 8 months old!

bath time

During the last month, Malina experienced her first Hanukkah, first Christmas and first New Year’s. She didn’t quite grasp the concept of unwrapping presents, but she thoroughly enjoyed eating all the pretty bows and playing with her wonderful new gifts!

Malina also had lots of fun visiting with Great Grandma Barbara, Great Grandpa Bob and Cousin Rachel in Livermore on Christmas Day and visiting Great Grandma Florence in Los Angeles over New Year’s weekend. While in LA, Malina toured the Santa Monica Pier and experienced her first carousel ride! She also enjoyed a few days of company from Grandma Robin, Grandpa Ken and Aunt Emily and a visit from our newly engaged friends, Brian and Megan.

View photos of Malina’s eigth month.