Moving with a Toddler

Its been a few weeks now since we made the big move into our new home. The dust has finally began to settle, and Berlin’s mood is at last improving. While this move was particularly hard on me (for countless reasons), I came to realize it was even harder on Berlin. Although she is still so young, its clear our move had an emotional impact on her and in turn her behavior became a challenge to both of us (considering she can’t communicate or express her feelings).

Throughout the move I learned some valuable lessons on moving with a toddler that I thought I would share. I’ll admit I didn’t consider all the ideas beforehand, but shortly into the midst of chaos I came to realize how important each of these steps were to maintain normalcy for Berlin.

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First and foremost: Be sure to set up your little one’s room first. Although I was knee deep in boxes and couldn’t find the coffee grinder (horror!) nor a towel to bathe with, I made certain to set up Berlin’s room first. Mind you everything was not in its proper place (and there were blankets taped to the window in place of blinds) but all in all it resembled her room at our old place (minus the thousands of vinyl records she previously shared the room with).

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Next, adhere to the regular schedule-despite the madness that is happening all hours of the day. I made it a point to keep on schedule and not disrupt her routine (too much), not allowing for any more fussiness than was already occurring.  It’s important to keep nap and meal times consistent and even more important to carry on with the normal nighttime routine; bath, books, rocking or whatever it may be. I found this familiar routine really soothed Berlin and made her feel more at ease in her new room.

Have a helper-or two! I was incredibly fortunate to have my mother-in-law volunteer to fly down and assist us with the move. It was crucial having her around during that first week (did I mention Ryan flew to London literally in the middle of our move!?). Having a toddler is a full time job in itself and then complicate it with the physical exhaustion and madness of a move, and I would say its near impossible to do without someone solely focusing on the little one.

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Furthermore, be sure to stop and give your little one lots of cuddles. Its easy to get carried away rushing to unpack the entire house without even a thought to eating lunch (or even going to the bathroom), but its crucial to take breaks and spend some quality time with your nugget. Although Berlin was happy playing with her Nana, I found it was important to drop everything once and while and concentrate on showering her with some mama attention. Things were already so chaotic for her, I didn’t want her to feel separated from me as well.

Lastly, be certain to get outside at least once a day. Considering your to-do list is massive, its easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all, but its important to take a breather and get a breath of fresh air-for everyone. On day three of being cooped up in the house, I forced myself to put it all down and take Berlin to the playground. It was refreshing not only being outside, but it was wonderful spending some much needed time with my sweet little girl.

These were invaluable tools to get me through a crazy move, what lessons have you learned from moving with a toddler (or any age for that matter)?




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Moving On

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This past month has been full of anticipation (and a bit of anxiety) as we waited for the close of escrow on our new home.

It all happened so sudden (buying a home that is) that I’m still trying to wrap my head around the change that is to come.

We were loosely looking for a new rental here in San Francisco when we decided to check out homes for sale in the city.  With the current rental rates in the bay area soaring above the price of a mortgage we knew we had to find a home to call our own.  Exactly a month ago today we visited the first home we were interested in and fell in love.  Offers went in the following day (and after some negotiation) we were on our way to becoming homeowners!

So there it is, 30 days later, and today we move into our new home.

While Ryan and I are both ecstatic at the thought of raising Berlin in a proper house-with a backyard and her own room (a rarity in San Francisco), at the same time, we are a bit sad.  We have so many fond memories at our current home; many a dinner party with friends, my pregnancy with Berlin, as well as that it was our first home since moving back to the bay area.  But above all, the thought of leaving the place Berlin was born in is somewhat gut wrenching.  Just the idea that we will never step foot again into the bathroom she was born in saddens my heart.  I hoped one day to walk Berlin into the master bathroom and explain to her the natural wonder that was her birth in that very room.

But alas, its time to move on, and the memory of her birth will never be forgotten, no matter where we live.  And in a few years from now, when Berlin better understands, we will drive her by our old home in the heart of the Mission and explain to her that she was born in that very house in mama and far’s bathroom.

 




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Tearful Pumpkin Patch

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For so many reasons Berlin hasn’t been the happiest camper lately, let’s just say a combination of lack of sleep, teething and overall developmental changes are making her more fussy and clingy than her average self. Ryan and I were all hyped to take her to her first pumpkin patch and share the same memories with her as we experienced growing up, but it turned out to be more tears than cheers.

As it turns out, Berlin is a bit more skittish than we expected when it comes to all things holiday. She lost it when we sat her by the ghost at the pumpkin patch and last week at Home Depot she broke into tears as I rounded the corner to the Christmas aisle (who knew angels were scary!). I’m assuming this fear is simply a phase. We shall see how trick or treating goes, she may not survive all the ghosts and goblins of Halloween night!




 

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Treasure Island Weekend

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A bit blurry, but too cute

This weekend was an attempt to reclaim my youth by attending the Treasure Island Music Festival (with baby in tow).  Taking Berlin was not such a bad idea, not for her at least.  She seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, but for me, having a baby at a music festival was not my idea of cutting loose.  But we had a brief, fun time, and was home in time for her bedtime at 7 PM (wild night!).

On Thursday I did get some baby free time and snuck out for a night at the Academy of Sciences and even met up with the hubby for a late night movie-if you haven’t seen Gravity yet I highly recommend it.

Hope you had an enjoyable weekend!

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Farmers Market

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I just adore the fall season (being an October baby might have something to do with it).  I love the crispness in the air, the change of the leaves and the colors they bring.  The fall produce that is bountiful and the hearty meals that emerge because of them.

I love the idea of changing out my wardrobe for a cozier one and being allowed to wear boots with every outfit, and of course Halloween and pumpkin patches.  But most of all I love the idea of cuddling up under a warm blanket with my baby and my boo.




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Weekend of Food

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I swear I gained five pounds over the weekend, maybe even ten. From Friday evening on all we did was eat, albeit good food, but too much of it! During the weekends I rarely have energy to spend time cooking so it seems every meal is eaten out or ordered in  (and its not always so healthy). Most weekends I give myself a “free pass” to eat whatever I want. Then comes Monday and I swear off all french fries for good. Promising myself to eat healthier (and usually I do). Until Friday comes along and the cycle starts all over again.

What is it about the weekends that makes one want to stuff their face full of donuts and pizza!?

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Relaxing Weekend

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Its finally summer time in San Francisco!  We hit over 80 degrees in the city this weekend-which is a big deal around here! I finally get to bust out all my summer dresses, beyond excited!

As you can see, Berlin and I enjoyed a mellow weekend; did some shopping, played in the backyard and had a little park time with friends.

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On the contrary, this is Ryan enjoying his weekend (DJ’ing in Portland).  Not sure who had more fun, but I can tell you I’m a wee bit jealous.  A mother’s job never ends…

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Yes that is my husband with his hands in the air, he knows how to have a good time!  Love him.

 

 

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Labor Day Weekend: Part Two

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Here are the rest of the photos from our lazy labor day weekend.  Not much happened around here, just strolled through the neighborhood, enjoyed some vegan sausage and played with Berlin on the playground.

Ryan kept telling me to take some time to myself; get a massage or have a full spa day (after my challenging week with Berlin last week), but I have a tough time leaving these two.  As much as I need time to myself, I miss my husband as well.

I’m sure most couples with children understand what I’m experiencing-the total neglect of your relationship that happens once baby enters the world.  Pre-baby we were all about one another (which couple isn’t?!).  We showered one another with attention, enjoyed romantic evenings and always slept spooning one another. Then entered baby, and the focus shifted entirely from one another to all about Berlin.  All the love and affection I once showed Ryan has now transferred to Berlin and vice versa.  Its not that we aren’t still head over heels in love with one another, but neither of us have the energy to express this love at the end of the day.

Raising a child is difficult work, especially when they are entirely dependent on you for every little thing; feeding, diaper change, getting around and nursing (especially the nursing!).  By the time Ryan gets off work I’m exhausted.  I’ve been up since 5 AM chasing a one year old around, and the little time I had to myself was spent cleaning or cooking (you stay-at-homers know the drill).  As for Ryan, he too has been up since early in the AM, commuted over two hours to and from work and clocked over a twelve hour day.   Who has time to nurture a relationship when your both physically and mentally drained?

I know its the little things that count; the mornings we enjoy coffee together, the evenings we spend catching up with one another and the weekends we have together as a threesome.  Nevertheless we need to take the time to cherish each other and express gratitude, support and affection for one another.

I would love to hear others thoughts on this, and how they have conquered the new dynamic a baby brings to your relationship.

Enjoy the weekend!

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Labor Day Weekend: Part One

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Isn’t it the worst when you have been looking forward to a three day weekend for weeks and before you know its come and gone with a blink of an eye?  Since we have little time together as a family I cherish these long holiday weekends and look forward to spending some much needed quality time with Ryan as well as the rest of my family.

This past weekend Ryan’s brother Derek was visiting from Southern California and we spent much of our time hanging with him and my two sisters.  On Saturday we all decided a road trip to the beach was a must, but attempting to get away for the day and still sneak in two naps is a challenge we have yet to figure out (if anyone has got this down, please share-and for the record she will not sleep in the carseat nor the stroller!).

So we opted for taking only the morning nap and cruising to a beach nearby, Coyote Point Park in San Mateo.  Having never been to this “beach” I will tell you that if you plan on visiting I would strongly suggest bringing lounge chairs as its more of a dirt/rock beach, rather than a sandy, relaxing, get your tan on kind of beach.  But whateves we made the most of it and had ourselves a picnic, played some horseshoes and watched B splash around in the ocean (what can beat that!?).

Sunday we enjoyed our own little beach in the backyard with a kiddie pool and some tunes.  Seeing as Berlin can’t get enough of the water we pretty much spent the entire weekend letting her frolic around in whatever source of water we could find.

Hope you all had a fabulous Labor Day Weekend!  More pictures of our adventures to follow…

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