Petras birthday is a little over a month away and I’m really trying to finalize some plans that I want to get together for her first birthday! It’s sort of tricky because on the one hand, Petra won’t remember this so it seems like it’ll be mostly a party for the adults. On the other hand, you only turn ONE year old once so we’re pretty excited (and, like, a little sad) at how fast our baby girl is growing up.
I’m really teetering between just having pizza and drinks at the park next to some swings or maybe like doing a really nice dinner someplace fun and kid friendly. I’ve even considered brunch because it’s my favorite meal and when it comes to kid foods, there’s nothing more kid friendly than breakfast foods. Plus it’s in the afternoon so we’ll be done by the evening. But I don’t know! It’s all up in the air right now.
One thing I do have my heart set on, though, is getting her a cake from Milk Bar. Their birthday cake is amazing. Lukasz got me one for my birthday a few years back and I’ve been dreaming of having an excuse to get another one for a while. Because I guess I can’t eat a whole one by myself… oh well! Any other birthday ideas?
So… I’ve decided to run a half marathon. This decision actually happened at the beginning of February when my coworkers were up for a good fitness challenge. On a whim, I signed up hoping this decision would force me into actually working out and eating healthy. It didn’t and now I’m about a month away from this race and it’s crunch time.
I’m not actually worried because I’ve always been something of a runner. I ran before I moved to New York. I ran after I moved because I had nothing to do and no one to hang out with. And before Petra was born, I had been signed up to do a charity run for cancer until I found out I was pregnant. But it’s been longer than a year since I put a good effort into this hobby of mine and my schedule has been so crazy that I didn’t even feel like I had time for to run.
Well, I just joined a gym and this gym has childcare so my excuses (weather and having a baby) have been whittled down to zero and I’m on my first week of actually running consistently and it feels really great. It’s something I’ve definitely missed. Running made me feel really good about myself and I had forgotten that feeling until now.
With about a month to go, I’m really focused on running and breathing for a long period of time. Since I haven’t had much working out for over a year, I’m not too concerned with time or trying to set some kind of PR… I just want to do a half marathon because I know I can do this. I’m gonna be posting more about this on my instagram account if you want to see. Im pretty nervous… but so excited!
I feel like I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for a while but it has taken me time to really form my thoughts on this subject. I recently watched an episode of Girls where Hannah has to deal with the decision about having a baby or not and she happens to meet a version of herself on a stoop. This version of Hannah is an actress and has two babies and she gives Hannah some unexpected advice “Kids are super easy. It’s being an adult that’s hard”. While I hate to be that person that comes to some sort of realization while watching a dumb show, this dumb quote really resonated with me. Being an adult is hard.
I’m not going to get super specific about how I came to be pregnant and whether it was planned or not but, I will say that Lukasz and I were two semi-adults when everything happened. And even the most prepared person will be caught off guard when that pregnancy test comes up positive. Up until that point, my free time was spent lounging around, wasting money on crap and alcohol and probably watching TV during my free time. Free time… remember that? It’s really funny how having to raise a baby really, sort of, throws you into just being an adult and making adult decisions… or “Adulting” as the kids are calling it these days. Now I have to think about how I spend money a little bit more and having a baby girl really affects every decision I make, right down to my eating habits. How can I expect my daughter to eat healthy when I’m eating burgers all the time? Lukasz and I have been thinking lately about how to advance in our careers and making a five year plan about what property to buy in the future, something with an extra bedroom in case we have another baby and a yard for our dog.
While it all seems pretty understandable, it’s just all so new to me. Also! Kids are not easy. But I’m going to really blame Petra on this one. I’ve met other 10 month old babies and Petra has a crazy amount of energy that it’s hard to keep up with her sometimes. But ok, all of that aside, I remember when Lukasz and I were thinking about getting a dog and we really wanted to wait for the right time because a dog was a “big responsibility” and we had to walk it twice a day and feed it. In hindsight, I laugh at us back then and how silly we were. Now if someone tells me “I can’t get a dog, I just don’t have the time for it.” I roll my eyes and shake my head and juts walk away before this rage boils up inside of me and manifests itself in word vomit. A dog is a piece of cake and babies are hard. BUT they’re worth it. My daughter is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life and even if I’m exhausted every single day, I go to sleep grateful and happy to be her mother. And I’d do it all again a million times over.
Our first weekend in California happened to coincide with Petra’s 9 months so a celebration was definitely in order. When I was younger, my house was the party house and when I say party, I mean BBQ and that usually meant some kind of tacos. So naturally, I expected no less than that and my parents delivered. Saturday was a huge celebration for our baby girl where some of my side of the family would meet her for the first time. My parents even got a taco guy because when in Southern California, if you’re not eating tacos then you’re doing it wrong. Petra and I wore matching shoes. I picked out a sweater for Lukasz. My family is basically adorable.
But let’s talk about the little lady of the hour… Petra is actually 10 months old now so I’m really late on this but I feel like I still needed to post this and talk about it so I never forget how tiny Petra once was and every little milestone that happened and how much I love her right now, right this minute. Petra is officially nine months old. A week before turning nine months, she got her first bottom tooth. It was a couple of bad teething days where all she wanted was just to be held by me at all times and maybe chew on something cold a few times. She would get her second bottom tooth a couple of weeks later. Little P has the best appetite. She eats three actual meals a day with a few purses mixed in as a snack. She is literally game to try anything, I love it so much. She used to hate sweet foods but now her favorite foods are probably blueberries and oranges (carefully peeled, of course). She smiles and laughs while she eats, its too cute to handle. She smiles and shows me her teeth right before she stuffs food into her mouth. She LOVES her papa. SO. MUCH. Those two melt my heart, the way they play, the way he speaks Polish to her all day, everyday. Lukasz once texted me and told me that Petra answered him back in Polish by saying “tak”. He was so excited! Petra is also becoming good friends with Pierrot. She loves chasing him even though he’s always faster because shes crawling. Sometimes when Pierrot gets into his silly moods and begins chasing his tail, she stares at him and starts cracking up. It’s the sweetest thing. In addition to crawling, she stands herself to standing position and cruises the furniture which means she cant be left alone, not even for a minute. She’s always on the go! Petra loves being outside more than anything, but that’s the beauty of New York. The whole city is a playground for us and I love being outside with her. It’s been a bit of a rough winter but I see Spring and summer on the horizon and time spent on the swings for Little P.
As you can see, there was much to celebrate in California… ❤
The picture below is one of my favorites of Petra and her grandpa! This was also Petra’s first time playing with balloons and she loved every second of it! I’m already in the process of brainstorming for her first birthday and balloons are definitely on the list. They make her so happy!
Gosh, what a pretty family!
On our first week, we also visited Venice Beach close to Los Angeles County. For some reason, I always get super nostalgic for Venice Beach when I’m in New York. I watch Californication and begin to idealize what California and LA are to me even though, it’s really nothing like that. It also reminds me of the Doors because, Jim Morrison and all of that fun stuff. It really just takes me back to my teenage years when I fell in love with Classic Rock and thought I would be a hippie forever, haha.
Things definitely didn’t turn out the way I thought they would, they turned out better! We happened to make our way to Venice on one of the few gloomy days that happened during our trip. It was also a random suggestion in the middle of the day but when someone says they want to go, we gotta go. Lukasz had only visited Venice once about a year before we met. It was one of the few places in California he happened to make a pit stop and one of the few places he found actually interesting during his travels out West. Venice is like a mini New York in that people just aren’t afraid to be themselves. It was really nice to get to come here with our daughter (although the weather could have been better). It did make for some interestingly gloomy pictures, despite our high spirits.
On our way back to the car, as the real rain began, we stopped at this little Peruvian restaurant that was as literally a hole on the wall. I can be a little picky about Peruvian food. My parents always seem to know the spots when we’re in California and I get my fair share of it when we go visit. I’m always wary of trying new Peruvian restaurants in New York because they always make the food so kitschy. The true mark of a good semi-authentic place is always the portion of their ceviche. It has to be a nice hearty bowl of fish. Otherwise, what’s the point? This place in Venice, whose name escapes me, really hit the spot. It was all weirdly served in “to-go” containers despite us eating in but everything was great from the ceviche to the Lomo Saltado.
It was one of those days that left you tired at the end, with all the driving, Petra fell asleep in the car after eating so many French fries. My favorite thing ever is showing her these new places and getting even more excited to come back when she’s older as well. It’s so amazing to show everything to a new little human being. I feel like, with Petra and Lukasz, I have travel partners for life.
We’ve been back from California for a couple of weeks now but I just finished sorting through all of our photos! I think I got shutter-happy because I ended up with over 1000 pictures. The camera never left my side but I felt like I never wanted to miss a moment of Petra and Lukasz and I soaking in the California sunshine.
This mini vacation was definitely long overdue for us. It’s so great to live in a city like New York but I think it’s so necessary to take a break from the hustle and bustle every once in a while. Having the plane land in California was like literally a breath of fresh air. Even the plane ride TO California was calm and collected, with Petra sleeping a decent amount of time but not being overly rowdy when she was awake. We flew JetBlue and the staff was super supportive and accommodating of us having a little one.
Though the weather during our stay was up in the air, we lucked out and it was sunny during a majority of our time there with a couple of rainy days thrown in. It was different from our past trips to California, we usually make this trip in February and be weather is usually super sunny and high 70’s. After all, isn’t that what California is known for?
Petra got a chance to meet all of our California family and friends, including Eric, one of my best friends since middle school. These are the moments I looked forward to the most, introducing everyone to my little family. So much love going around, I felt so lucky.
We took it easy the first couple of days but went to the park and a few local hikes in the Irvine Park area. Petra rode a swing for the first time! Oh my goodness, the happiness on her face has me looking forward to Spring and Summer so we can go out to the park and have so much fun. Her happy face makes me melt! It almost makes me feel anxious thinking that these moments are fleeting, I just love her so much! Stay little forever, baby girl!
If anyone plans on going in a hike with littles anytime soon, I highly recommend getting a Tula carrier. It’s amazing and it let us be hands free. Lukasz loves baby wearing and Petra loves being worn by her papa. She even fell asleep on our little hike, she was so comfy! We got our as a hand me down from Lukasz’ sister who previously used hers for her two little ones. They’re really durable! I love it.
I have a few more posts for California coming up, I just really love the pictures and had to post for my own excitement if not for your reading pleasure. Thanks for following along!