Tuesday, June 28, 2011

to my daughter on her first birthday

dear Scarlett -

i love you! i love you! i love you!

you are the most amazing person in my life. every day i love you more and more. it has been my greatest joy watching you change and grow every day for the past 365 days. i have not had a better year in my entire life! and this is just the beginning...

your smile melts my heart and your laughter brings more happiness to me than you can imagine. when i met you i felt a never before felt connection and thought to myself, "you are my favorite person in the whole world!" and next i thought, "wow, i am meeting my best friend right now who i know everything about, but also have the world to learn from at the same time." my heart keeps surprising my mind with how much it can grow with love for you. every day has been a new adventure and i am thrilled for the many adventures to come.

it's very common to hear people say, "i cannot believe it's been a year!" or "i cannot believe how fast the first year went by!" when their baby turns one years old. i am happy to say that i do not feel like this year went by in a flash. instead, i feel like we savored and experienced the most of it. we have done so much in your first year!

you have traveled the country coast to coast and met so many important family members and friends along the way. you have flown to europe and have three stamps on your passport and have taken an overnight train through the alps. you have gone swimming in lakes and pools and swinging in swings at many great parks. we have gone on long walks all over san francisco. you have gone on a boat ride with your cousins in wisconsin. you have met two sets of great-grandparents! we have had so many wonderful moments snuggling right after you wake up in the morning. you have laughed and smiled and heard me sing "the wheels on the bus" countless times. and so much more! hopefully i have recorded a glimpse of for us to look back on one day.

what i truly cannot believe, however, is all the growing and changing you have done in this single timeframe. it is incredible; you are truly a miracle! you have more than doubled in size! you have learned to roll over, sit, crawl, stand, dance, clap your hands, wave hello, and much more. you have six teeth! you have learned to say mama, dada, uh-oh, and baba. you can stack one block on top of the other! incredible, i say!

i have tried to cherish and hold dear every moment that we've spent together from your early morning feedings to reading our favorite stories at night. for sure, there were tough times where your dad and i were just learning how to be parents to you and tired times from balancing work and family; these will always be challenges. but there were infinitely more joyous times than not. the most wonderful moments were watching your expressions of amazement at discovering new things about the world, peeking in to see you sleeping perfectly and peacefully, hearing you giggle the purest giggles of excitement and happiness, and having family hugs and dance parties. i am so blessed and fortunate to be your mamma and to have witnessed your special life the past year.

i will never forget this first year. these memories are branded on my heart for ever and ever with overwhelming pride. i can only hope that i've been the best mamma to you and given you the best first year that you deserve. i hope i created a foundation for years and years of wonderful living, experiencing and learning for you to come.

you are my sunshine, my light, my heart, my life. you are the greatest blessing one could ever receive.

happy first birthday sweet baby Scarlett!

all the love and best wishes in my heart,

mamma

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

dada's girl



i love you, dada

thanks for everythng you do to take care of me
happy father's day

xoxo
Scarlett

father's day

daddydave had a wonderful first father's day. {he told me, i promise i'm not making it up!} we spent the day together as a family enjoying perfect weather, outdoor music and, in david's words, "man meals."


sunday morning family time, Scarlett gives daddydave his first father's day card


happy father's day!! we love you!!


{even though Scarlett now refuses to smile for pictures,
 and instead just gets upset that she can't take the iphone from you}

father's day "man meals"

i offered to make david whatever he wanted for father's day...

this is what he wanted...

lunch

dinner

serious culinary tastes he has!
oh, and i didn't even make anything. he wanted to make it all.
no complaints from me!

fyi, daddyD, now that i know you can arrange a platter...

inspiring graduation: class of 2011!


kate is one of my best friends and one of Scarlett's favorite non-biological aunties. besides those important roles, she is also an incredible high school teacher and leader at KIPP King Collegiate. i had the absolute priviledge to attend her school's FIRST graduation ceremony last saturday.

in a word, it was inspiring!

KIPP is a national network of high performing charter schools which stands for Knowledge is Power Program. most of the schools are middle schools, but kate is a founding teacher at the bay area's first KIPP high school. what does this mean? kate and a small group of dedicated teachers started a new high school for underserved students from scratch...

last saturday, four years later, the founding class at KIPP King graduated as the class of 2011! and even more impressive than graduating this class where many of the students are first generation high school graduates, is the fact that there is a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT college acceptance and planned college attendace rate among the students!

this was no easy task. the school has extended hours, a year round school schedule and all students must participate in an extracurricular activty. they have a rigorous college prep curriculum that unfortunately is not offered at many of the public high schools in their demographic.

i have witnessed kate work tireless hours and constantly worry about her students. she is now the assistant principal at the school, and she means business. oh, i've seen her in action, she don't take shiz from nobody. but she is also the most caring and dedicated teacher and role model these students could ask for.

the graduation was one big inspriring love fest honoring the hard work and struggles the students faced and how they persevered beyond them. pride was beaming from each of the students and even more so from the multitude of family members who carried signs and flowers and enormous smiles on their faces.

i left the ceremony feeling like i had witnessed something historic and life-changing. it was both of those things!

kate: i am so proud of your work and your students! 


if you'd like to learn more about KIPP click here and here and here.

working mammas: check out my friend's blog

friends and readers:

you know i have written before about my experience as a working mom. i love my job but i looooooove Scarlett. i'm proud of my education and the work that i do, but i can't help feeling guilty about leaving baby S. am i missing out on too much of her life? will she unerachieve in school and ultimately in life because i can only take her to music class at the library 4x/month? why do i feel such rejection when she reaches for daddydave or the babysitter instead of me? {i thought rejection from your daughters didn't happen until age 13? sorry mom, btw}

on the other hand, i like contributing to something beyond me and i definitely like earning a nice salary. i feel proud that i am contributing to my family (read: being a sugar mamma). but childcare is EXPENSIVE! so sometimes the cost-benefit analysis doesn't seem balanced.

how do you figure it all out and feel ok with your decision?

well, i am {obviously} not the only mamma in the universe who feels conflicted. most working mammas experience some guilt about leaving their babes and jealous of the time SAHM have with them, but my stay at home mamma friends say that sometimes the grass looks greener on this side with a life outside of home. whatever side you are on, my new friend** has written a great post on the challenges of working that really hit home with me.

though staying at home is not an option for us right now, i'm constantly weighing my guilt over income necessity and professional fulfillment. perhaps this won't always be the case as my husband just finished grad school, but even if i did have the option to stay home full time...would i really want to?

does this resonate with you too?

**my new mom friend is a friend-of-a-friend who i have heard of for many years and then finally had the pleasure of meeting last weekend at another friend's baby shower. this should have happened sooner except for the fact that the continental united states stands between each of our residences. anyway, at the shower, besides laughing hysterically and bonding over mom things while enjoying midday mimosas, we learned we are both mom bloggers. check her's out! i think you'll really like it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

lil bite o hummus


Scarlett's new favorite food: hummus

seriously? those eyes!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

honesty corner: typical saturday night at the Heater's

(the Heater's, btw, is how the iPhone autocorrects our last name, 
so some of our friends have started calling us that. 
i think it's kinda catchy, and a good internet pseudonym, so gonna go with it)

typical saturday night at the Heater's: sushi takeout!



and in typical Heater's fashion, we over-ordered, 
yet it's all completely consumed.

yum yum! i heart tempura and nigiri from our fave neighborhood place
{and i've also finally discovered instagram, fun pictures to come}

and now i will recline on the couch,
 snuggle with the hubs and watch a movie. yay!

happy weekend to you!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

honesty corner: phone addiction

uh-oh! this is totally me!


 quick funny cnn article about media obsession with tips to reduce phone time
including the most obvious, tried and true one: have dinner as a family.

though i am completely obsessed and attached to my iphone,
i do have a long-standing no phones at dinner rule.

i might try to instate an "only words with friends while scarlett is napping" rule,
but, yikers, that might be really really difficult.

i'll keep you updated on how it goes.
are you addicted to your smart phone like this mamma and me?
what can you do to reduce the phone always in hand time?

cause and effect



Scarlett has learned how to put one thing (a block) into another thing (a bowl) and then dump it out! still working on all the finer intricacies of it, but this is a huge milestone: learning cause and effect.

i don't know about you, but i am totally impressed!

scarlett, you are learning new things everyday. it is so exciting and fun to watch. i want to be inside your brain (using scary monster voice with modified jazz fingers wiggling toward head) so i can see it all take place.

and yes, those are the kinds of things i say to her when we play

as well as....

i love you like ccrrrrrrraaaaaay-zzzzeeeeee!

(because, obviously, i do)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

new fave game = Scarlett toss



it may sound like a squeal of terror to you, but i can assure you this is Scarlett squealing in delight. it's been gorgeous weather recently so we took advantage of our condo's courtyard to play Scarlett's new favorite game.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

sssshhhh!!!


david doesn't check this...
so i can share one of his father's day presents here.
dads deserve to be pampered too!

i feel a lot of pressure to get some good father's day gifts considering its his first one. and, of course, because he's such a fantastic father to the sweet baby S.


i've got a few other ideas brewing, but what are you getting your hubs/s.o./baby daddy?

summah dinnah - tuna burgers with wasabi coleslaw



sum-sum-sum-summatime

even though it's not exactly summer weather in san francisco, it's always nice to pretend with changing menus. last sunday the hubs was feeling a summer inspired hamburgers-on-the-grill dinner. that sounded a little too heavy to me so as i wandered through whole foods trying to think of what to make, i came across tuna burgers with the box suggesting "try with wasabi mayonaise." yumms! the wheels started spinning. coleslaw would be nice and fresh with that, oh, and put wasabi in the coleslaw too. and avocados on top. hhmm... i see sweet potato fries out of the corner of my eye. yes! quick and easy dinner = complete! here's what i created below. all these things could definitely be made from scratch, but i went the easy route for this summer sunday meal. ...super simple and semi-healthy. at least healthier than a regular cheeseburger and fries i'm convincing myself. enjoy!

ingredients:
package frozen tuna burgers
package frozen sweet potato fries
package shredded broccoli and carrots
1/2 c mayonaise
4+ tsp wasabi powder
2 tbsp vinegar
avocado
whole wheat english muffins
salt & pepper

first make the coleslaw so it can sit for a bit while everything else is cooking. i used shredded broccoli slaw package because i like that better than cabbage, but use whatever you want or have. mix desired amount of wasabi powder with a touch of water to form paste. add to 1/2 c mayonaise, stir. (i started with 4 teaspoons powder and then increased by a teaspoon at a time until i reached the spice/flavor ratio that i wanted). add half the wasabi mayo to the slaw, and save the rest for the burgers. add 2 tbsp vinegar, salt and pepper as desired and mix. let stand at least 30 minutes. doneskis!

cook burgers and fries according to package directions. i baked both, ready in under 20. toast up some whole wheat english muffins and spread with saved wasabi mayo (i used english muffins because a burger bun seemed too thick and overpowering), stack the burgers, add slices of avocado, serve with fries and coleslaw, and voila! dinner is served. 

oh, and in an unexpected surprise, Scarlett loooved the tuna burgers! I started by offering her the sweet potato fries thinking she'd love those, but she kept reaching for the tuna instead. success!

what do you think? sound good? gonna give it a try? what quick summer dinners are successes for your fam?

swing-swinging

ready for the pool


all i wanna do is squeeze those thighs!!!

i'm one excited mamma that we are finally starting a mom 'n me swim class next week.

one shoulder strap giraffe print one piece?
girl, who's your stylist?!

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Bigger than her whole life"





pics of Scarlett shopping with auntie K with the following sentiment:

I pray one day that I hear the words "aunt k, can you please take me shoe shopping?"

ps: auntie K actually bought those shoes. super hot, however, even she, the glam rock girl she is, can barely walk in them!