April 2008

Monthly Archive

packing list

Posted by lynn on 24 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: portugal, travel

Meli's Travel Sleep Tent

I’m a hyper-organized traveler before leaving home. Ironically, knowing most my ducks are in line ahead of time lets me unwind and act spontaneously once on the road. Advance planning with an infant feels even more essential but obviously more difficult. Nonetheless, I recently pulled my travel gear boxes from under the bed and started gathering what we’ll need for Portugal. This simple act showed me how much my travels – and my life – have changed in the past five years.

Out With the Old Gear, NLN
NLN=No Longer Needed for my travels:

  • Sheet sleep. A sheet sleeping bag of sorts for cots, this was essential when I hosteled through Europe and the Middle East in my twenties. I haven’t used it in a good five (maybe seven?) years.
  • Pack safe. A portable safe for stowing my valuables under the cheap mattresses of those hostel or bottom-rung hotel cots. I did use this on my 10-month Latin American adventure, but haven’t needed it recently.
  • Mosquito net. Useful when camping in Central America… perhaps it will see some future use?
  • Compass and whistle. Somewhere along the line I started carrying these around. I’m sure another traveler suggested it. They “feel” essential, but I use maps instead of a compass, and the two times I was mugged (on back-to-back nights in Managua), my whistle was safe in my room and given the circumstances wouldn’t have helped anyway. (Details of this are a different story.)

In With the New Gear, FWO
FWO: For the Wee One… here are just a few:

  • Toddler sleep tent. This is where the Jelly Bean will sleep. We’ve had a few practice nights at home and I’m proud to say our little girl is amazingly adaptable. She slept in it like a champ.

  • Portable high chair. We borrowed it from a friend. It inflates and deflates. Cool.
  • Umbrella stroller and Ergo carrier. Otherwise she’ll be crawling her way through Portugal.
  • Plane toys. Did I mention Meli will be a lap child on a 12-plus hour flight? A new kind of adventure will begin the moment we board the plane.

sunday at the park

Posted by lynn on 18 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: general

Brotherly Hug


Last Sunday we had a one-year celebration of sorts with my yoga moms group. I say “of sorts” because it turned out to be impossible to find a date for all seven of us to get together. Sapna recently discovered that we’ve only all been in the same room once: at a moms night out last month. The babes (and life) keep us busy.

Kai, Meli, Mama

Slide Smiles

Nonetheless, our whole family met up with Suli’s, Michaela’s, and Francis’ at the big park in Albany with the cool spiral slide that makes your body hair stand up. Kai discovered this along with his dad. Meli stuck to the toddler area and had fun sliding down a smaller version – with mama – and climbing up the steps. This she did all on her own. Go Jelly Bean!

Double Swing w/ Michaela

Slide Steps w/ Suli

The swings are always a big hit, of course, and so was the food. Sapna made unfrosted carrot cupcakes that were so good Kai asked for thirds. Melina didn’t wait for me to offer her a small morsel, but instead planted her face, mouth wide open, directly onto the one I held in my hand. What can I say? The girl likes to eat and knows good food.

wedding story

Posted by lynn on 14 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: writing

Happy second anniversary to Joey and me! Much like our wedding day, this morning started out a little grey but blue sky and sunshine are peeking through the haze. Unlike our wedding day, we’ve had amazing, summer-like weather all week with skirts and sandals galore.

In honor of the occasion, I’m posting a piece I wrote called Bridal Showers. It’s about our wedding day and – go figure – the weather. I wrote this essay not long after we married and have tried to shop it around to a few places, finding some interest but ultimately no success. I may try again, but for now I’m happy simply to share it here. Enjoy!


Posted by lynn on 14 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: family, melina

Duboce Park, SF

Shoulder Ride

Joey and I have decided to start a tradition: Each weekend closest to April 14, our wedding anniversary, we’ll take a day for some local (or not) exploration. Last year we headed to Sausalito and the Marin coast, and spent the day wandering a quaint town then walking slowly (I was nearly eight months pregnant!) along a path scented with wildflowers and salt air.

This year, we decided on a nostalgia tour of San Francisco. We parked the car near Church and Market, close to both of our first longish-term abodes in the City. Clinton ParkMeli @ Clinton Park(Yes, we lived about a quarter mile apart and no, we never met.) First stop: Clinton Park to see Joey’s old – but newly refurbished – apartment. Then past the Mint to Duboce Park, where Melina got to watch some dogs running free (she called the small ones “cat”) and up to my old flat at 571 Waller in the Lower Haight.

571 Waller Street

Bean Face

After trekking to the Upper Haight and back (luckily the Jelly Bean took a stroller nap) we headed down to Union Street, where we had our wedding rings cleaned at their jeweler-of-purchase, then lunched on Mexican food and margaritas. Melina enjoyed her black beans, but ended up wearing as much as she ate. Lucky for us, my folks babysat that night so Joey and I were able to enjoy a leisurely adult dinner back in the East Bay. Happy two years, babe!

10-month update: crawling, kitty cat + the black hole

Posted by lynn on 02 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: melina

Kitty Cat Behind Glass

'Hi Grandma!' Phone Time

Our little girl is now a pro-crawler and into everything. She often does a loop that includes her favorite destinations: the bathroom shelves (she pulls up on them to find her bath toys), then a short jaunt over to the scale where she attempts to weigh herself, and finally a trip through the bedroom door and around the corner to our nightstand, where she knocks books off the center shelf then reaches over to grab the phone from the receiver. She’ll hang out here for a good while, pushing buttons and flipping through or eating books. If she’s lucky, the cat will join her, or maybe her brother. She gets giddy at the sight of either one.

Meli's Favorite Toy: Any Water Bottle

I Want to Touch the Cat

At just over nine months, Meli started saying her first real words (meaning those that are obviously connected to things). “Cat” was in the making for a couple months, but she now says it (minus a full “t” sound) spontaneously when she sees Thor. She also gets pretty upset when he runs away and slinks into small spaces before she has a chance to pat – or pull – his fur. Her other consistent word is “bye bye,” complete with a hand wave, though the sound is a little closer to “ba ba.” She says “hi da” quite a bit, but to me this still seems just a happy sound. Joey disagrees and says she’s specifically talking to him (even if he’s nowhere to be found).

Wearing My Dinner

Sippy Cup Savvy

Melina eats like her stomach is a black hole. Cantalope and watermelon, turkey and chicken and a taste of Easter ham, grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta, pinto beans, pancakes, eggs… pretty much all finger food from our table, save yogurt for breakfast and some pureed veggies to get the greens down. She now picks up and drinks from her sippy cup all on her own. This self-sufficiency is a good thing, seeing as she expresses her likes, dislikes, and desires more than ever. She’ll squawk up a storm if she has nothing but cheese on her tray and really wants a piece of that melon I’m eating. She also screams when her brother steals her toys. One day soon, she’ll get even.

Grandma & Grandpa's Toy Box

Hats at Totland: Meli + Suli

She’s able to pull herself up on furniture and stand with one hand holding on, but hasn’t started cruising just yet. I think she’s too busy taking in the new view from up there. She’s able to stand without any support for a good 5-10 seconds before wobbling around and crashing down to her butt.

She’s still a social butterfly, and when out at a restaurant is usually more interested in flirting with the people at the next table than her own family. But she does have boundaries: She’s only comfortable with strangers if we (or someone else she knows well) are close.