Sunday, June 29, 2014

Handmade Wallet

Two years ago, Chris bought me a cash-envelope system for my birthday. There were five envelopes with a plastic comb binding; each envelope had a different design and color. It was really pretty and made it a little more exciting to have to carry cash around. And it fit perfectly in my wallet.

It got a lot of use in two years. It had been taped back together multiple times and re-labeled. Finally, two months ago, my water bottle leaked in my bag and my paper envelopes practically dissolved. They were done.

I had known for a while that they would need to be replaced, and I had assumed that I would just make my own paper envelopes and find another way to bind it. But then I stumbled on this blog and figured a cloth wallet would last a lot longer and with zipper pouches I could keep my coins in place as well! It was going to be perfect.

I bought the supplies a long time ago, before William was born actually. And a couple of weeks ago I finally had time to sit down and put it together. It took two afternoons but it turned out pretty good.

I made an adjustment to the instructions on the blog: I put a sash on it with velcro instead of the elastic and button. There are a few things I should have done differently, like put the velcro on before sewing the sash to the wallet, and making the credit card slots a little narrower. I also got one of the zippers on the wrong way. None of these are really a big deal (unless a credit card falls out!).

The one downside is that it is two inches bigger and another inch thicker than my previous wallet making it more of a clutch than a wallet. It fits fine in my diaper bag, but is a little bulky in my purse.

I used fabric that I had bought years ago for quilting so my only purchase was the zipper. Even the cute button was in my stash. I plan on replacing the velcro with a white square soon but have to get to the craft store first.

Now if I spill on it, I can easily wash it and dry it and my change isn't going to fall out everywhere. And it has me motivated to continue doing the cash system all over again!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Friend's Wedding

The second part of our trip to Southern California was a wedding of one of Chris's college friends. I had met him a couple of times as well, but other than the groom we didn't know anyone else there.

The wedding was outdoors, in a wooded area in the middle of nowhere. As we were driving along the dirt roads I flashed back to a road trip I took to visit my aunt and uncle in Nebraska. The directions for both included crossing a cattle guard!

We made it to the wedding with thirty minutes to spare. Only a few other guests were seated which was perfect. I could get William fed and take a look at the decorations before it all started. It may have been outside and in the middle of nowhere but it was romantic and beautifully decorated. At first, I thought that with all the wild flowers in unique vases and strings of lights in the trees it must be a in-demand venue for a wedding but the more I thought about it, I bet this bride was glued to Pintrest for a long time!

Just take a look:

 The bride walked through these awesome rustic door!

A chandelier in the trees!

Linen table clothes, burlap table runners, mismatched china, and roses.
Also, each table number had a note about the Bride and Groom about their relationship--super cute!

So sweet!

Chris with his friend, Jeremy (the Groom!)

I couldn't get over how pretty it was. The decorations, natural beauty of the location and the lights just all went together so well. It's happened to me before, where I just get struck by the overall beauty of the scene before me and this was one of those times - I was awestruck. I sat back and soaked it all in. It was good for my soul.

As the sun went down and we were getting ready to go, the lights took on a whole new effect. There was a creek that ran right though the reception location that had dried up but they put a ton of tea-lights in it! It was such a great idea. I tried to capture it with my camera but I couldn't do it justice.

 Of course, we had to take a family photo!

William did okay during the day, but by the time the wedding started (a little late), he was tired of being in one spot. I took him to the side and we looked at dirt while the bride walked down the aisle and did the airplane during the vows. He only made a couple of loud squawks so I was pleased with how well he did. It was already William's bedtime by the time the reception started. We decide to stay anyway. They had appetizers and fun fruit drinks which were great and held us over while the bridal party took photographs. And just as the Father of the Bride was starting his speech, William through a fit! Well, not really a fit, just his typical "I'm tired" cry. Shortly after that, he was asleep and we could enjoy the dinner.

It was a very sweet wedding. The pastor said some really great things, most of which I'm struggling to remember right now (darn!). The Father of the Bride's toast was very, very good. Through it all you could tell the couple is very much in love and the families are so happy they found each other. We are thrilled for them too and so glad we could be there to witness their day!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mini-Vacation in Coronado

We arrived late on Wednesday night, making the trip from San Francisco to Coronado Island (near San Diego) in one day, taking 10 hours. We got William fed, bathed and put to bed and enjoyed an evening to ourselves in our hotel room. Thankfully, it had a little hallway of sorts that the pack 'n play fit in so we had a little bit of space to ourselves and could talk quietly without disturbing him. 

I tried not to be upset that the hotel (actually an Inn) didn't have a refrigerator or coffee pot in the room (for baby bottles, etc) or a workout room (June was going to be is my get-fit kick-off). It did have a pool and nice outdoor seating right outside our door. Later that evening, Chris was able to get a mini-fridge brought in for us, and the next morning, we found some hot water at the continental breakfast which was perfect for warming William's food. It turned out not to be as difficult as I first thought. 

Thursday morning, after William SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT, we went for a morning walk together along the beach. I really love taking family walks; it rarely happens when we are home. It was a cool morning and the sun had yet to find a path through the clouds. The only people awake at 7 a.m. were parents with young kids and runners. It was nice to see that it was such a family-friendly place. 

Corando is a clean and beautiful city/island. We didn't see a single homeless person or beggar on the sidewalk. It could be compared to Carmel, but we liked this better. It seemed a little more casual. Our hotel was located within walking distance of just about everything. Three minutes from the beach, and restaurants and shops on either side. We didn't use our car the whole time we were there.

After our walk we had a breakfast of omelets and biscuits and gravy then headed back to the hotel so William could rest. I napped too; I have a hard time letting myself nap, especially on vacation. I guess I equate vacations to activity and sight-seeing so rest seems wrong. Which is pretty crazy because I don't rest at home either. I needed the nap regardless of where I was or what I could have been doing. 

That afternoon we took a walk on the boardwalk by the beach again, this time heading in the other direction. We walked a mile before turning around. This time, the sun was hot and the beach was crowded. It was a perfect day to be on the beach but William had fallen asleep in his stroller so his introduction to sand would have to wait. 

For dinner we went to a pub nearby. William had only been to one other restaurant since starting to eat solids and we didn't attempt to feed him then. But this time we thought we should try. Maybe he'd be more inclined to eat if he saw us eating. And he was! He ate more food than he has eaten at a sitting before. He did so well. He is also quite the flirt and every waitress in the restaurant got at least one of his big grins. Every time one of them walked by he turned in his chair so he could see them and flash his smile. And of course, they couldn't ignore him. He loved all the attention. He didn't seem to notice that he had squash all over his face as he flirted! 

On Friday morning, while William napped, I went on a walk by myself. I walked the entire length of the boardwalk, just over 3 miles which had been more than I've walked at one time in a long time. It felt really good. And it was nice to get some time to myself too. 

Later that morning, we all headed back to the beach so we could show William the sand. We brought our camera and a towel and let him at it. He loved it. He didn't make a fuss or anything. He quickly left the towel and dug in. I tried to stand back and let him explore but after a couple of minutes when fists went into his mouth and handfuls of sand were dumped in his ears, I had to intervene… a little late, I know. He didn't want to leave but we had plans to meet up with some friends in San Diego for lunch so we had to go. His first experiences with the beach were positive and we can't wait to do it again!

Lunch with our friends, Stephen and Tess Holechek and Baby Micah, was wonderful. We haven't seen them in years and now we both have babies and life is much different than the last time we talked. Micah (almost two months old) slept through the whole meal while William devoured anything we put in front of him (or tossed it on the floor). I was reminded of the number of changes William has gone through over the past 8 months and I'm amazed at this little person joining us for meals, no longer a newborn wanting to sleep away the day.

We spent the rest of the day touring San Diego. We strolled around the Gaslamp Quarter which was similar to downtown SF-- more bars, but much cleaner and less of the high-end does-anyone-really-shop-there stores. Then we did a loop around Seaport Village which at first we thought was like Fisherman's Wharf but it's a thousand times nicer and cleaner with a nice park in the middle where families were flying kites. It was so pretty. I was surprised to see booth after booth of palm readers/fortune tellers there. It was kind of strange to see them in such a family-friendly setting. 

We only spent a few hours in San Diego, but I really liked it. I loved the weather. Large cities don't intimidate me like they used to, most have similar areas to San Francisco, but without the San Francisco-ness . . . San Diego was cleaner, sunnier, and less crowded for sure. 

For our first "Babiak Family of Three" vacation, it was lovely. We had a wonderful time in Coronado, which is just beautiful; we didn't have an agenda or schedule which was different for us, but necessary for William. We kept our expectations low but really just focused on being together. I loved touring San Diego and visiting old friends. It was just what we needed.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Baby B: Eight Months Old

This has been a busy month. Not only because Chris ended up working three 24 hours shifts in two weeks or our four-day trip to Las Vegas. No, what I mean is, William has been busy this month!

Since his last update, William has mastered the crawling thing and moved on to standing with the help of furniture. His crawling can take two forms: 1) the traditional movements we expect and 2) more of a bunny-hop approach where both knees move forward together. Sometimes he will use a combination of the two to scoot across the room. Either way, he is fast!

After spending the long weekend with his 10 month old cousin, he picked up a few things. Namely, standing. As soon as we got home, and not a moment after, he attempted to stand and move around just like she did. We've had a few hard tumbles since then but have gotten a little more steady this week. Sitting in one spot is a thing of the past.

He has also shown more interest in eating. Not at every meal, but if he sees us eating, he wants to join us. And as his two top front teeth make their grand (and painful) appearance, he has tried to bite off a bit more than he can chew.

Lately, he has been a bit on the fussy side, waking up every 2 hours or so. I blame it on teething, but really have no idea if that's the cause. He is mostly happy otherwise. He comes with me to work (just to drop stuff off/pick stuff up) and the grocery store without complaining much at all. I can't tell if he really enjoys our outings much, but I think he is happier if we get outside. 

Our one-bedroom apartment seems to have shrunk this month as William has learned how to navigate the whole thing. We've set up a little "pen" of sorts for his play but he loves to escape and join us in the kitchen . . . or bathroom. Although its hard to keep our eyes on him all the time, I love that he's more interactive and engaging.

 The months keep flying by and our little boy keeps growing and changing! Can't wait to see what happens next!