Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Fun at Mother's Beach

On Friday, I decided to take advantage of our recent heat wave and the fact that I didn't have to work (I had a fabulous 3 weekdays between end of old job and beginning of new one) by taking Vivian to the beach.

I am ashamed to say that, despite living in California all of my life, I very rarely go to the beach. Many years, the only beach trip was when we went to Lake Tahoe. But not this year. I have resolved that I will not spend the summer bitching that it's too hot, and gawd I wish we had a pool. If the water cannot come to me, then I will go to the water!

Having very little experience with LA's beaches, my first stop was the Heal the Bay Beach Report Card. The news is always full of the latest unhealthy report, so I wanted to make sure everything was safe before I put Vivian in the water. And I knew that didn't want to drive very far, because if Vivian wasn't happy, I didn't want to be stuck in traffic for hours trying to get home.

After much web surfing, I decided to try out Mother's Beach in Marina del Rey. The only cost was $6 parking, but you park so close -- no long schleps with baby and gear -- that it was worth it. The beach is protected by the marina, so there are absolutely no waves to worry about. Vivian loved it. I sat her down on the wet sand and she just started crawling out into the water as fast as she could.

We got to the beach at about 11:30 a.m., and stayed until 2:30, which ended up being just about perfect -- she napped in the car both ways, so she was in a good mood for most of the time. The beach also has picnic tables, and even barbeques, so next time, I'll plan to bring a bit more food. Vivian and I made friends with some other parents and kids, and just had a great time hanging out together. It was a great day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

what's the what?

The what is that, after 8 years at my current employer, I have a new job! Now, because no one wants to get dooced, I'm reluctant to talk too much about work, but suffice it to say that I am very excited! The new job will allow me to focus on writing and publications, which I love. The new employer also offers awesome benefits, including on-site daycare (we're not taking Vivian out of her current situation, but when she graduates out of it in about a year, we hope to take advantage of the on-site situation).

Eight years in one place is a really long time. I know that there was a time when people stayed with the same company for their whole careers, and retired with a gold watch and a fat pension, but those days are very much over. I honestly don't know how I ended up staying so long.

After about 4 years, we started to think about moving up to the Bay Area, so I looked for work up there. I got close on a couple of jobs, but nothing ever materialized. After about a year of looking, we decided to stay in L.A., but then start a family. And who wants to start a new job when you're planning to take maternity leave shortly thereafter? And then we lost Eliza, and grieved. And then I got pregnant again with Vivian, and then needed time to sort out this motherhood thing.

And it's eight years. I feel like this is going to be a good move for me, personally and professionally. The whole interviewing process has been so stressful that I felt like I lost my craft mojo (similar to when I was pregnant -- I didn't realize it then, but it was probably a result of the stress), and couldn't knit, crochet or sew. As soon as I got the offer, my mojo came flowing back!

In just a few days, I had completed this Twinkle cardigan. Yay for my mojo returning! I missed it so.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Day at the Zoo

I haven't posted in a while, mostly because I have some big news that I can't quite reveal yet (no, Vivian will not have a sibling any time soon).

Today, it was a gorgeous day here in L.A., about 77 degrees and sunny, so we decided to go to the LA Zoo. The zoo has really changed in the last 10 years, and is a really fun place to go. They seem to be constantly upgrading the exhibits. The latest one to open I believe is the new Ape habitat, which is large and lush. There is a lot of construction going on for new Golden Monkey and Elephant habitats. I gave Rich his Father's Day present early - a family membership to the zoo, so that we can now go whenever we want!

Vivian's not sure what all the fuss is about.

Despite what you see in her expression here, the flamingos were one of Vivian's favorite stops. The birds would just be milling around, and then one would decide that he had to be on the other side, RIGHT NOW! So he'd run and all the others would start running. It was amusing watching Vivian following the flamingos with her eyes, back and forth.

Sitting on Mommy's shoulders gives Viv a better view.

The giraffes were another favorite -- large, close and moving. Some of the animals were a bit too far away or too hidden for Vivian to really see, and if an animal was sleeping or not moving, she didn't always notice it. But you can't miss the giraffes.

Sleepy koala.

Sleepy Vivian. After a long day at the zoo, everyone needs a nap. But Vivian is the only one with a stroller.