7 months old!

These photo shoots are hit or miss these days, because Nico is the wiggliest little bub, but he was acting like a ham during his seven month shoot, so we got some decent pics. 

Month seven was the best yet! He kicked off the month on "vacation" in Georgia. We spent a long weekend on an adult vacay to Mexico and my mom and aunt scooped him up and flew him to Georgia for a week (they're saints!). He spent the week playing with new toys, swimming every day, and celebrating July 4th with his entire Georgia fan club. I think he was a little bummed he had to come back to California. 

The biggest update in our house is that Nico officially started crawling. He refuses to stay on his back (even when we're changing his diapers or changing his outfit, which makes life fun), so he's been flipping over for a while, but now there is no stopping him. His favorite past time is crawling to and chewing on electrical cords, so the days of having a chill baby are over. He tries to pull himself up on everything, and although he hasn't succeeded yet, we lowered his crib just in case. 

He's also started eating more and more foods - pureed meats (yum...), avocado, banana, almond butter (his new fave), and veggies. He's still teeny (2nd percentile for weight) but long. He also had a double ear infection this month, but he remained cheery, chill, and sweet. 

Life keeps getting better and better with this little dude. We love you so much, Nico.

6 months old!

Okay...I waited another month and I'm clearly slacking on keeping the updates alive, but thus is life of a working mom, I guess. Here are Nico's 6 month photos, and month 7 coming up this weekend. In month 6, Nico:

Traveled to Wilmington, NC (where Lucas is from) to surprise his Nana. We had a travel day from hell (thanks to United mechanical issues), but even with 6 (!) hours of delays, he was a patient and sweet little traveler. What a trooper. He loved his first trip to Wilmington, where he got to spend time with Nana's pups, go to the beach 3 times with his Abuelo, and splash in Nana's pool. He's already excited about visiting again soon.

I went back to work right after that trip, and I immediately flew off to London for a team offsite. I was a nervous wreck about leaving Nico for a week, but he couldn't have cared less. Nico and Lucas had a boys week, where they swam, had drinks with the guys, and he continued his daycare routine like a champ.

In month 6, he continued to sleep 12 hours straight through the night and woke up giggly and happy every single day. He ended the month wanting to crawl so, so bad, but just turned in circles and scooted backwards. We love you so much, Nico.

Nico is actually 6 months old today (eep!) so more on that soon. But this month has been absolutely bananas, so I never got around to posting the 5 month photos. This bub turned five months old and had a huge month. Here's the summary of month 5:

We celebrated Lucas's birthday with trips to Malibu and then Santa Barbara. Nico was such a good little traveler - adaptable, patient, and sweet. He got to meet his Uncle Zick and Aunt Kerrin for the first time, and loves them both to pieces.

He learned how to roll from back to belly, discovered a love for his own feet, and fell even more in love with chewing on his own hands. He started daycare (!!!!) in preparation for my return to work, and absolutely loves his class and Teachers, Danni and Selah. He even made me a Mother's Day craft, which I love so much that it actually hurts my heart.

Nico started solid foods, and he definitely gets his love of avocados and bananas from me. He's not so sure about peas yet, but we're working on it. He now has solid food diapers, but to be honest, it's not as bad as I feared.

He's smilier, kickier, and happier than ever, and he still has his parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles tightly wound around his sticky little fingers. We love you so much, Nico.

Weekend Trip: Malibu

Lucas just celebrated the big 3-0, so we had to do something big. Even though I'm not quite back to work yet (1 month left in my mat leave!), I had a work conference in Anaheim, so it was the perfect excuse to spend Lucas's birthday weekend in LA. The conference wrapped up on Thursday afternoon, so Nico and Lucas flew down to meet me in LA.
We had dinner reservations at Felix, which I've been dying to try, but their flight was delayed into LAX and it felt too late to have Nico out, so we flexed and picked up Sugarfish to go instead. Maybe we were just hungry, but it was some of the best sushi I've ever had, so alls well that ends well. We'll have to try Felix next time we're in LA - such is life with a baby, I guess. :)
Lucas loves to surf, so I planned a chill surf weekend for him. We stayed at The Surfrider Malibu, which is a new hotel I discovered through Instagram and design blogs. It's so cute that I assumed it wouldn't be baby or kid friendly (ha) but when I called to inquire about it, they told me they loved babies and would put a rollaway crib in our room. It made things super easy.
On Friday morning, Lucas had an early surf session (dawn patrol, as we like to call it) and then I took a pilates class at this studio (side note: it was the hardest pilates class of my life!). We had a well deserved brunch at Ollo and then we hit the beach. We brought along Nico's trusty beach tent and he napped and lounged for most of the afternoon.
Friday night we went to the hotel's rooftop bar / restaurant for appetizers and drinks, and we had the best mezcal cocktails. We snuck away to the room to get Nico ready for bed, and once we got him down successfully, we popped back up to the roof and had dinner. We checked in on him every 30 minutes or so, but he was a total champion sleeper.
On Saturday, we basically repeated everything we did on Friday. Lucas went surfing at 6:00 AM, I took a SoulCycle class, and then we spent the day on the beach with Nico. The waves were particularly good on Saturday, and Lucas still talks about how it was one of the best surfing days he's ever had. I'm glad the surf gods were looking out for him on his 30th.
On Sunday, Lucas went surfing again bright and early, and then we headed to Venice for brunch and shopping before our flight. We grabbed Blue Bottle (you can take us out of SF but we will still drink SF coffee), had brunch at Great White, and introduced Nico to the world of Abbott Kinney shopping. We went to the airport extra early and flew home.
We always toy with the idea of moving to LA because we love the beach and the weather so much. It seems like such a fun place to raise a family. We already booked our next trip to The Surfrider in August. It's seriously such a family-friendly and beautiful hotel. Can't wait!

4 months old!

I'm over a week late in posting this, but our little Nico turned 4 months old. We had a big month!

We left Nico for 3 nights to celebrate my birthday in Valle de Guadalupe, and he partied hard with my parents in SF. They wore him out with visits to Muir Woods, the botanical gardens, and local restaurants. I'm not sure who enjoyed the time more: me and Lucas, Nico, or my parents. Even though we're across the country, Nico is lucky to have such amazing grandparents who will drop everything to come see him.

The next weekend, we traveled to Atlanta for a visit, and Nico flew on an airplane for the first time. We took a picture of him with the pilots in the cockpit and they gave him some teeny wings (oh, my heart!). He didn't cry once on either leg of the trip, but he also didn't nap so he was overtired when we arrived. My Granny Bird loved meeting her first "great grand" and Nico also met my older bro and sis-in-law for the first time. It was just the best weekend.

We rounded out the month in Malibu celebrating Lucas's 30th birthday (more on that trip soon). That round of flying didn't go quite as smoothly, but luckily the flights were super short and the other passengers were (mostly) understanding.

Nico is becoming more and more alert. He loves playing with toys (this toy and this rattle are his current faves), reading books (Pete the Cat ftw), and singing songs ("The Wheels on the Bus" makes his entire face light up). He's still a great sleeper for the first part and he wakes up happy every morning and from every nap. When we poke our heads over his crib to say hi, he coos and laughs and kicks his feet up in the air. We love you, kid.

Day Trip: Bolinas, California

When the weekend weather approaches 70 degrees, we pack up our car and head up to Bolinas. It's a chill little beach town about an hour north of SF. Many folks day trip to Stinson Beach, but it's worth driving the 20 extra minutes to reach Bolinas, which is more low key and flies under the radar.

Nico wore his SPF suit for the first time, but we mostly kept him shaded under this tent. :) The waves are consistent but small in Bolinas, so this will probably be where Lucas teaches Nico to surf for the first time. Just the thought of it makes my heart swell.
We picked up Ike's sandwiches on the way out of SF. After eating lunch on the beach, the dudes spent hours surfing and we lounged in the sun with pups and babies.
We typically hit up Smiley's, a local dive bar, after beach days, but they don't allow pups or babes, so sadly those days are over for a while. We hopped across the street and hung out on the back patio at Coast Cafe, which was perfect for our little group. We didn't eat, but the fish & chips looked and smelled great.
We drove back to the city, and swung by Hook Fish Co. in the outer sunset for fish burritos and guacamole on the way home. Such a great day. See you soon, Bolinas. 

Our Weekend Trip: Valle de Guadalupe

A friend of mine traveled to Valle de Guadalupe a few years ago, and I was in awe of her pictures. It seemed like the ideal destination for someone who loves food and wine and its relatively close to us, so I immediately added it to my bucket list. We planned to go last year, but then I unexpectedly got pregnant and had to back burner the trip. It wouldn't be fun to visit wine country and not be able to drink all the wine. Opportunity knocked again when my parents offered to watch Nico for my birthday weekend. We wanted to visit somewhere new but also relatively close (because we're paranoid new parents), so it seemed like the perfect choice. We went for three nights last weekend, and had such a blast. Here are a few photos from our trip.
We flew into San Diego, rented a car, pit stopped at The Taco Stand downtown for guacamole, shrimp tacos, and beers, and then made the 1.5 hour drive across the border. We've never actually driven across the U.S. / Mexico border, so we didn't know what to expect, but we were super surprised that we didn't actually have to stop - we just drove straight through. Luckily, Enterprise upgraded us to an SUV. We did very little planning ahead of time, and the roads in Valle de Guadalupe were all dirt roads filled with pot holes. It was tough but manageable to drive in an SUV, but it would have been next to impossible to do in a smaller car.
We stayed at La Villa del Valle, a bed and breakfast conveniently located in the middle of the valley. The villa has a pool and hot tub, expansive views of the wine region, and cozy rooms with private balconies (and fire pits!). On our first day we checked in, immediately changed into our bathing suits, and hit up the pool and hot tub. I trust my parents completely, but I definitely had new mom anxiety and guilt over leaving Nico for the first time. I cried when we left in the morning and then again on our flight, but about two sips into my first glass of wine at the pool, I was over it - ha. We booked dinner at the restaurant on site, Corazon de Tierra, which was a fancy 7 course dinner featuring dishes like seared duck and oysters. It's funny how adult we felt in that moment, after lots of recent take out dinners or early evening restaurant visits with baby in tow. 
On day two, we had an amazing, Mexican breakfast at the hotel and a couples massage, and I swear it was the best massage I've had in a long time. I don't feel particularly stressed on a day-to-day basis, but I could feel tension melt away from my shoulders. 
We showered and drove to lunch at Lomita. We had amazing food all weekend, but Lucas and I agree that Lomita was our favorite meal of the trip. We drank chilled rosé and feasted on ceviche, pork tacos, and grilled chicken. 
Later that day, we did two wine tastings at Monte Xanic and Vena Cava. Monte Xanic was a bigger winery and felt a bit more corporate, and Vena Cava was smaller and offered a more personal tasting experience. My advice to anyone traveling to Valle de Guadalupe is to focus on the smaller, more boutique wineries like Vena Cava, but I'm glad we experienced both. We were still stuffed from lunch, but Vena Cava also had a really cute food truck with delicious looking food.
We had dinner at Fauna, which has communal style seating and family-style food. The portions were huge and the cocktails and food were amazing. We sipped on mezcal old fashioned cocktails (so good) and ate grilled pork and fresh oysters. The architecture of the property was really cool, but we arrived after dark, so we made plans to return the next day for a wine tasting so we could explore a bit more. 
The next day we had breakfast at the hotel again, and then we drove around and explored a bit. We had lunch at Deckman's, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of the valley. In terms of ambiance, this was our favorite spot. The restaurant is tucked beside wine vines and there is a huge open-air kitchen, so you can see all of your food being prepared right next to the table. Luckily we booked our reservations far enough in advance, because we heard from folks at our hotel that they were unable to get into Deckman's.  We loved it and can't wait to return. 
After lunch, we popped back over to Bruma (property where Fauna is) for a wine tasting, which is conveniently right next door to Deckman's. From there, we went back to the hotel to relax by our fire pit before dinner. The hotel brought around snacks and wine every day from 5-6 PM.

On the last night, we went to Finca Altozano for dinner. The vibe was lively - it was filled with families and couples eating, hanging out on the grounds, and everyone seemed to be having fun. We had grilled octopus, pork tacos, churros, and of course, wine. It was the perfect casual but delicious way to end our whirlwind foodie weekend. 
We were worried about the long lines at the border, so we decided to get up and head out at 6:30 AM, so we would get to the border by 8:00 AM. Luckily, the lines were only 10 minutes when we arrived, but the lines can get up to 5 hours long, so we didn't want to risk it. We grabbed coffee in San Diego, checked out the surf in La Jolla, hit up a SoulCycle class to sweat out some of the wine we consumed, and had one final brunch before flying home to see our little dude.
The entire trip we kept saying it was the best foodie trip we've ever taken. The cocktails, wine, and food were world class, and we cannot wait to return. It was the best way to unwind, reconnect, and feel like adults again for a few days. Mexico, we love you so much!