Happy Birthday, Buttercup!

It was Buttercup’s first birthday this weekend! We had a Hello Kitty themed party for family and friends to commemorate the occasion. And it true “bad blogger” form, I was too preoccupied getting everything set up to take pictures, so if you have some good ones from the day, please feel free to send them to me!

  

  
She grew up way too stinking fast. And since this is the last first birthday party I’ll ever have to throw, I wanted to do a REAL party. With, like, decorations and planning and stuff.

Prepping the night before:  
Hello Kitty totally threw up all over our living room.

  

  
  
 

  
Even Olive got all festive.

  
I still can’t figure out how to take a good picture of a black dog. She’s all shadow.

 

Anyway, the kids put on their party hats and were ready for a good time!  
  
Squish was ALL ABOUT the hats. Buttercup, not so much. But how cute is this “Birthday Hat” my sister crochet for her?!?

  

She clearly did not appreciate it as much as we did.

But she did appreciate the cake. She started with dainty little finger-dips in the frosting before digging in with both hands.

  
It was a great party!

  
Happy birthday to our little miss Princess Strawberry Mochi Cream Puff Buttercup! 

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Local Road Trip (a.k.a. We Left the House!)

Over the weekend we decided to go on a mini road trip.

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That’s right, we got out of the house! Everyone was feeling a bit stir-crazy, so we decided to visit my bro-in-law up in Santa Rosa. On the way we stopped at Cavallo Point lodge for brunch. I had an open-faced pastrami, which everyone agreed that was so good I won at “brunch.”

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The restaurant faced some beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.

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Then we headed up to Sonoma County to pay a baby-fueled visit to my bro- and sis-in-law. He just got a new car, so the boys took turns seeing how much they could burn rubber and fishtail it while the girls drank tea and gossiped. I wanted to take the car for a spin, but it’s a manual transmission and since it’s been a couple years since I’ve driven a stick, coupled with the fact that it was nighttime and rainy, I decided to take rain check in trying out the new motorized baby.

Whatever, we had steak for dinner, so, winning.

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Amazing steak. I had a piece each of the ribeye and the filet.

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And everyone slept on the drive home except for Hulk because he had to drive. The end.

A First-Timer’s Experience at Massage Envy Spa

In all fairness, I’m pretty horrible at self-care. I know what I should do, but I usually ignore all of that preventative maintenance stuff. Stretching after a run? Who has time for that? My hamstring’s bothering me again, but I’ll just walk it off instead of breaking out my therapy ball and doing some rolling. I’m not even a very good flosser. But a couple of the things I keep meaning to do a better job lately of is getting routine massages and doing a better job of my skin care routine. Fortunately, my friends at Massage Envy Spa seemed to telepathically know that I really needed to get a good prenatal massage and facial in before Baby v2.0 makes her arrival, so they offered me an opportunity to check out their massage and facial services. I had not been to a Massage Envy Spa before, but my sister is a member and has only had good things to say about it. And she’s right; my first experience was fabulous and I can’t wait to go again!

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Oh, and before you get all wowed by my sudden improvement in photography, I didn’t take any pictures during my visit. It felt weird. So these are some photos from the Massage Envy Spa website.

Setting up my appointment was easy. You go online to massageenvy.com, find a convenient location near you, and fill out the appointment request form. At least, that’s how I did it. They called me back promptly to confirm the date, time, and services I requested. I had originally scheduled my massage for Saturday afternoon, but then Hulk and I had a major “I thought you were watching Squish” moment when we realized we had both booked non-preschooler activities for ourselves on Saturday. So I called them Friday to reschedule, and they were able to move my appointment to Sunday evening no problem. Which turned out to be a brilliant move, really. I am always booking my massage appointments Sunday night so I can just fall into bed and tackle Monday morning stress-free and well-rested!

My appointment-booker-person advised me to come a few minutes early so I could fill out the first-timer paperwork. I was getting a prenatal massage and facial, so I filled out a couple of quick forms with some brief medical and skincare history, what’s been bothering me, what I’m looking to get out of my service, and other good stuff for my therapists to know. I was pleased with the attentiveness of the staff. They offered me a glass of water and a trip to the restroom before I was introduced to my therapist and escorted to the treatment room. We chatted briefly about the paperwork notes I had completed and what I was looking to focus on (my crunchy computer muscles in my arms and shoulders) and then it was down to business.

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The Nap, I mean, Treatment Room

The treatment room was just right. The lighting was dim, they were playing some soothing music, and the temperature was cool enough where I wasn’t sweating like crazy but the warm table and blankets made me quite comfortable. For prenatal massage, there is a couple of ways I’ve done it. One is with a special table with a cut-out for the belly in the middle, but I’ve only had that done once. The way most places do it that don’t have the belly-cut-out table is for you to lie on one side with pillows to bolster you up. Since I’m a huge neck-and-shoulder massage junkie, I actually prefer this to the belly table. I feel like they can really get in and do things one side at a time, and sometimes the belly table is made for normal size humans and not petite little 5’0″ me, so it was quite comfortable. That hour was over with much too quickly, let me tell you.

After my massage I was offered another glass of water (yay hydration! I was getting parched) and then my facial therapist came in. He and I chatted about my skincare routine, what I was looking for in my treatment, and told me what treatment he was going to provide for me. We skipped the facial peel, since it contains some stuff that’s not good for pregnant women to use, but we did the rest of the Environmental Shield Vitamin C product line facial, which is great since that’s the skin care routine I’ve been using. Now, I never get facials. I’ve had one in my life, and that was several years ago off a Groupon. So I have not much to compare it to. And normally I have pretty great skin, so it never occurs to me to seek out facials as part of my usual routine (he kept telling me “your skin is like butter!” which made my day). So after the series of steaming, gooping stuff on, wiping it off, gooping really nice-smelly stuff on, wiping it off, wrapping my face in warm towels, doing a bit of “extraction” on my nose, and gooping more stuff on I really didn’t know what to expect. But holy wow, if my skin was like butter before, it was like silk now. I couldn’t believe how soft it was! I was absolutely glowing. And I wish I took a picture of my massage/facial hair. It’s like bed head with a glow.

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Kinda like this, only not as cute.

After a final glass of water, I thanked my therapists and checked out, in a floaty cloud of post-pampering dazed bliss. Good thing I only had a block to walk to get home. And as I mentioned before, getting my treatments done on a Sunday night was brilliant. I floated home and right to bed, with my stress level back to a reasonable baseline and all of my achy spots relieved, ready to tackle the week.

The moral of the story? Be kind to yourself and get a spa day booked.

Disclosure: My treatments were provided to me free of charge by Massage Envy Spa. All opinions are my own.

San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo Recap

I am really excited about this post! It’s my first real “blogger review!” Hey, I’m a real blogger now!

A few weeks back, I was contacted by Massage Envy Spa with an invitation to the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo to check out the event and hang out at the Massage Envy Spa booth. You mean you want me to spend an afternoon shopping exhibits, snacking on free samples of delectables, AND get a free massage? Um, okay!

So on Sunday my friend Katie and I headed to the San Bruno Convention Center to attend the Expo. Or as I started to refer to it as, the Weekend Shopstravaganza of Awesomeness.

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Thanks to my Massage Envy Spa “guest” status, we were snuck into the venue right before the doors opened so we could quickly scoop the loop and check out all of the exhibits before the doors opened and unleashed a tidal wave of estrogen-infused fury.

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While the other, more responsible bloggers were probably taking pristine pictures of the other exhibits and making them all artistic and stuff, I’m noticing things like, “how cool, they changed one of the men’s rooms to a women’s room because there are, like, 900% more women at this event then men!”

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That’s thinking ahead, kids. What can I say; I’m eight months pregnant and can appreciate proactive restroom placement.

I digress. After perusing some of the booths, I headed to the Massage Envy Spa booth, which was I think the most popular exhibit in the entire event. They were giving free massages and skin care assessments. So awesome.

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My fellow blogger Amber and I were greeted and invited to get our skin assessed. I got to stick my head in this space age-y box with some sort of blacklight or something in it.

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The light displays all sorts of features on your face that natural light hides, like skin thickness/delicacy and age spots from sun damage. I have light freckles that stand out more when I’ve been in the sun, but it was freaky to see how under the special light my entire face is blasted with these dark marks. I also have delicate skin around my eyes, but the skin around my mouth is pretty think and robust. They wrote down the notes of the exam and made a product recommendation based on the Murad skin care line.

Massage Envy Spa offers several lines of Murad skin care formulas to individualize your unique skin care needs. Since my skin is showing all of that potential sun damage, I went with the Environmental Shield Vitamin C treatment line. I received a complimentary kit to try out, so in a couple weeks of use I’ll let you know how I like it. So far, I love the fragrance – it’s citrusy and so fresh, and I only have to apply a small amount to get what I need out of it. More on the Murad Environment Shield Healthy Skin Regiment Kit to come!

After our skin assessments, we were treated to a massage. It took them a few minutes to find a prenatal-certified therapist that was free, but oh man was she worth the wait. She went to town on my “mousing muscles” in my right shoulder. What can I say, I work on computers for a living. I really need to do more massage; I was totally floating on that “massage high” for a good hour afterwords.

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My post-massage goober face, with Terry from Massage Envy and Amber.

Then I headed back out to the expo to make impulsive purchases fueled by my massage coma.

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New running shoe twinsies! We scored some discounted “slightly loved” shoes at the Road Runner’s booth. I am going to love these new-to-me Saucony Hurricanes once I’m ready to hit the road again. I told Katie that she is now obligated as my shoe twinsie to help get me back into shape after baby.

That was the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Thanks again to Massage Envy Spa and the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo for putting on such a great event! I hope to be back next year (most likely with a small human in tow).

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Oh, I may have taken a celebrity shot with Wendy Williams. Or, a gigantic cardboard cutout of Wendy Williams. Is she that tall in real life?

Disclaimer: I was provided my entrance to the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo and products for review by Massage Envy Spa. All opinions are my own.

A Parade and a Day

Wow, this weekend just slipped on by. I’m now sitting in my hotel in Pittsburgh, once again, not really sure how I just got here. I mean, I know I got on a plane and here I am, but it seems like I was just sitting on the couch with the family watching Simpsons reruns even though that was last night.

Anyway, we were super busy all weekend. Squish and I headed to Point Reyes Station to go for a hike with one of my besties. It was perfect weather for it, and Squish pretty much napped in his stroller the whole time.

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Then we got pizza. Squish really wanted to practice his pizza serving skills.

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Sunday was the big Pride Parade in SF. All of downtown was pretty much shut down for the festivities. We met a friend up for brunch at the Four Seasons restaurant since it looks down on Market Street and we could enjoy the madness over fancy fruit plates.

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Squish really enjoyed watching the parade from the big windows and pitched a fit when it was over, going all, “Noooo! More! More parade!” It’s only cute if it’s not your kid. He started out well-behaved, I swear.

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Such a fancy pants. He knows the butter knife is licked before the salad fork.

I was up at the perfectly reasonable hour of 4:00 AM for my 7:00 AM flight. I nuked a couple of eggs for a quickie breakfast with some avocado and grapes,

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Then ended up packing the grapes in a baggie for the road since I always run out of time getting ready to go to the airport. Have yet to find that perfect balance of being ready on time and getting in as much sleep as possible. It’s so eerie when there’s no one about walking to the BART station.

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I arrived early to my gate and assembled my airplane necessities:

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You know, water, coffee, snacks, fitness magazine, trashy magazine. The usuals.

I am so glad I packed snacks. Our first flight had a ton of turbulence and they cut service down. I received my cup o’ tea but didn’t get a chance to grab any food.

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When I arrived at my layover, I had five minutes until my next flight boarded, so there was no hope in grabbing something to eat.  I somehow survived on my apple, almond butter, and KIND bar, but as soon as I walked into my hotel I ordered room service,

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What is up with the sideways pictures? Gah. My OCD doesn’t like.

Anyway, I felt super cramped and tight from the plane so I did a 20-minute yoga podcast to loosen up, and that did the trick.

Time to finish up some work then get some rest in before the work craziness starts tomorrow. Make it a great evening!

The Coldest Winter is a Summer in San Francisco

Anyone else up for a lazy Sunday? I didn’t think it was going to be like this, but a lazy day is how this day seems to be turning out.

Last night I just could not fall asleep, so I took a Unisom. Normally I don’t have too many side effects, but this morning I can’t seem to keep my eyes open! I tried going back to bed, but I didn’t fall asleep so I got bored. I just can’t seem to muster up the energy to tackle my want-to-do list (as opposed to the usual “have-to-do” list). So I’m catching up on blog reading and getting in some quality Netflix time with Squish.

That’s okay, we had a pretty busy Saturday. We didn’t make it to the zoo because Squish had a poorly timed nap. So instead we tried to walk up to Fisherman’s Wharf for some ice cream and to play tourist. We never made it past the Exploratorium since it was so cloudy and windy, Hulk and I were cold and made the call to turn back.

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You’d think with the palm trees and blue sky it would be nicer outside!

Squish didn’t seem to mind, he had a blast playing with all the unusual apparatus that surrounds the Exploratorium.

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As soon as we got back to the apartment, the sun popped out! So we met up with some friends at Union Square for a Philippine Independence festival. We checked out some booths and watched the traditional dancers. It was a really fun act!

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Back at home we had pizza and salad for dinner with some friends. I totally forgot to take a picture, but I had a homemade Caesar salad with a slice of pepperoni, sausage, and I think goat cheese pizza. There was some other stuff on it, but that’s what I remember.

I wasn’t feeling too well (hence the Unisom) so I crashed early while Hulk went out with some friends.

All right, that’s enough laying about. I should just get some coffee in me and got try to seize at least part of the day. Go make it a great day, kids!

Catching Up

Happy Tuesday! I feel like I’m back from the dead, and we are in sore need of a nice chat to get all caught up, don’t you think? I’ve got my coffee here, so why don’t you get yourself a cup as well and we’ll dish on the latest happenings.

Giveaways!

I can’t believe that I forgot to mention it earlier, I won my first ever blog giveaway from Renee at Bendiful! I came home from Pittsburgh to a big ol’ box of assorted KIND bars 🙂

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Whenever a package comes in the mail, Squish assumes it’s for him and starts jumping around crying, “Grandma! Grandpa!” because usually the package is a little gift from his grandparents. So he had to help me open it, and when he saw they were KIND bars he immediately wanted to eat them all. He got one.

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I made him pose for a PR shot first. (Oh dear lord, I just realized he was wearing his “Hooters” shirt. Well, now you know what kind of parent I am, if you didn’t realize it already.)

Thank you Renee and KIND bars for the awesome surprise!

Sick

I don’t think I’ve seen the doctor so many times as I have in the last week. As I mentioned last time,  I came down with a really nasty case of strep when I was in Pittsburgh. It was so bad it migrated to my ears; I’m still hard of hearing in my right ear due to all the congestion. I was basically bed-ridden for almost a week. Coupled with the usual pregnancy symptoms of fatigue and morning sickness, I don’t remember the last time I was quite that miserable. But now I’m on the mend, and since this is the last week of my first trimester (woot, milestones!) I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be well enough to get back to activity as usual next week.

Baby

All signs point to baby still doing well, mostly due to the fact that I feel like crap-ola 80% of the time. Days I puke are slowly outnumbering days I don’t puke. I’m a little nervous about all the meds I had to take while sick, if they may have unintentional side effects on the little Peanut, but if it weren’t for the miracle of western medicine and antibiotics who knows how I’d be right now. That aside, I am definitely outgrown of my normal pants, and had to pick up a nice pair of maternity in-between jeans at Old Navy a couple weeks ago. I really like them; the stretchy part is on the sides, so from the front and back they look like normal pants. I hope my work isn’t too annoyed at me wearing jeans more often than usual; that’s all that really fits right now. At least I haven’t resorted to yoga pants just yet. Next week I have another ultrasound and another checkup and I’m excited to find out about Peanut’s progress, and see some sea monkey pics!

Travel

Last weekend we spent some glorious time off the grid at a cabin in the woods north of Ukiah. Some friends of ours invited us up to spend the weekend with them and their little girl who is Squish’s age. It was a totally awesome and surreal experience to be completely off the grid with no electricity (there was propane and solar, so it wasn’t exactly “roughing it”), wi-fi or cell reception. The only use for my phone was as a flashlight in the country-dark night. Yup, this was the weekend.

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Terrible, I tell you. Just horrible. Squish and his new friend tore the place apart, and it was adorable to see him actually playing and interacting with another kid. He also got to go on a bike ride with Daddy.

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We are looking forward to this type of retreat again soon. It was the perfect thing for relaxing and reconnecting without modern distractions.

Workouts

I have done nothing in about 3 weeks. Well, I did do 30 min on the elliptical last Wednesday hoping the exercise would clear up my congestion. But I have been too tired in the morning to work out before work, and too sick AND tired in the evenings to consider going to the gym. I’m hoping next week I’ll start feeling better and feel up to light workouts again. I can’t go my entire pregnancy without keeping my strength up, or labor is going to be even more laborious if I’m out of shape! I might have to start sucking it up and getting to the gym despite my illness if I don’t feel better soon. Who knows; the activity might actually make me feel better.

Physical Therapy

I’m still going to physical therapy for my bum hamstring. It seems to be going well, and if I would just do my prescribed exercises I would probably be healing faster. But I’m forgetful and lazy, so it doesn’t always happen. Sitting in the car for 3+ hours Sunday coming back from the cabin didn’t make my leg feel all that great, so we did some extra work on it yesterday to get it back up to snuff. I guess I have a lot of muscular imbalance; my left leg is tighter than my right, so my right is over-working to compensate for it and that’s why my right leg is in pain. I’m supposed to do some hip and hammie-strenghtening exercises like clamshells and bridges, and massage my quads and calves with a roller ball daily. I think I need to set an alarm for myself every day so I remember to take the 15 minutes to work through my PT homework. I can’t remember anything unless there’s an alarm for it.

Whew! Okay, I feel caught up now. My coffee’s all gone, and the train is about to my station (yay commute blogging!). Make it a great day, and I’ll see you later!

I <3 Weekends

Hey, kids!

So, I normally don’t post on weekends, but I’m trying it out. It’s kind of like how if you exercise every day it’s harder to miss a day when you’re on a streak, I’m thinking it’ll be easier to fit blogging in if it’s something I do daily. So here you go.

Friday’s eats:

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Egg scramble with cabbage, zucchini, and sriratcha, lunch of chicken, broccoli, and sweet potato, snack of a very underripe pear and AB pack, another snack of a handful of butterfinger bites, quick dinner of leftover Indian lamb curry and rice.

I ended up waking at 4:30 this morning and could not get back to sleep. I counted sheep, tried reading my book, then finally gave up at 7:00 and hit the farmers market solo. Usually Squshy accompanies me but he was still asleep so I took advantage of the “me” time.

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Yay, mornings!

When I got home Squish was up in full force, so since the rest of the house was still sleeping, I took him to the California Academy of Science, something that’s been on ye olde bucket list for a while.

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Squish really liked the aquarium. He was mesmerized when we went through the underwater tunnel where you can see the huge fish above you.

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I tried to get a picture of him and a fish, but neither the toddler nor the fish would cooperate. This was the best shot I could get.

Then we both went home and napped. Because naps are good.

We had a friend’s birthday party tonight, so I had to make me pretty and stuff. Here’s my new hairdo, with makeup done and everything.

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Tomorrow’s agenda includes a brunch date with my besties, some spring cleaning, and maybe a hip hop class. We’ll see where the Sunday fun takes us.

I ❤ weekends!

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