Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Fun Day

I decided that before Mila starts school I want to take her on some fun LA Adventures.  One of Mila's favorite activities is to ride the Carousel. I must admit, it's become a fun activity for us all.  As many times as I've walked or run by the Santa Monica pier, I never realized there was an old school carousel located right below the pier. Mila and I went out for a few hours today and had such a blast. It was almost too hot as we were walking along the boardwalk so we stopped for some fresh lemonade to cool us off. Not sure about the hot dog on the stick that they offered, however the line was pretty long so I'm assuming people must love that stuff.  For the Friday before Labor day the pier looked like it was starting to get crowded, however the carousel barely had any kids in there. We rode the horses once (which surprised me that Mila didn't want to go on it again, we usually have to ride a few times) but I think she was distracted by the old school ice cream shop they have in the building.  Mila convinced me she should have an ice cream cone so we sat at the bar and each had a scoop. Definitely a fun activity to do if you want to take yourself back to your childhood. Oh the joys of having kids!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Big Sister Mila: 20 weeks and counting

 Today was the big day, we had our 20 week anatomy scan and we decided to bring Mila. At first we debated if it would be too much for her and if something went wrong how would we be able to handle it with Mila in the room, but we decided it would be so cool for her to see. She was so great.  She sat patiently the whole time and watched the doctor scan my belly, even giving me kisses at times to see how I was doing. Of course we had so much anxiety with this scan, since we found out with Mila at 20 weeks that she only had one functioning kidney, but the doctor reassured us that from what she saw the baby looks healthy. Tonight at dinner Mila told us her favorite part of the day was seeing the baby in mommy's belly and it just melted our hearts.
Mila is going to be such an amazing big sister... we can't wait! And no, we didn't find out the sex... it will be such a fun surprise!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LA Parks: Finding our Favorite One

The creek at Cold Water Canyon

Mila on the big rock at the top of the stream

Mila running through the stream

The Water Fountains at Douglas Park

This area is also for kids to ride their bikes, scooters or run around

Mila in her second change of clothes after running through the fountains

The Bridge at the Duck Pond - my favorite part

Los Angeles has some of the most beautiful and clean parks. Since we moved here we've been on a search to try out and find our favorite park. Currently, we are divided in our household on which park we like the best, but here are the two I enjoy the best and the ones we've visited the most since moving here.
Coldwater Canyon Park in Beverly Hills has a great stream that kids can run around, stomp their feet and play in the rocks. This past week the weather has been almost too hot, so I've been trying to get Mila to any park where she can run around and splash in the water to cool off. There is also a great playground area with slides, swings and climbing apparatus.  The only down fall to the play ground area is it can get hot and there isn't too much shade, however on the hot days all the kids gather around the stream to cool off.
Douglas Park in Santa Monica is my personal favorite. There is so much to do and usually there is a nice breeze you can feel from the ocean so I never feel overly heated. There is a great play ground with swings, a climbing area, a slide and lots of space to play in the sand. Then there is a whole concrete area designed so kids can ride their scooters, bikes, skate boards and run around. This space is also used for the water fountains in the summer... lots of splashing around and running through the fountains. There is a ton of grassy areas for picnics as well as picnic tables and plenty of shade. My favorite part is the duck pond where the kids can see both ducks and turtles hanging out. Although the park gets crowded, I never feel overwhelmed by all the people mainly because it's such a big park and there is enough for everyone to do. 
We are still on a search to find our perfect spot, but for now we are enjoying these the most!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Great Place for a Sunny Day

About a month ago I read about this beach house in Santa Monica that opened a few years ago. I've been dying to go check it out but we've been so busy this summer and we were sort of reluctant to go on the weekends since Santa Monica can get so crowded. Since the weather has been in the high 80's I told my husband that we should make a family date this week. What a fun afternoon we had together! I told Mila this morning that we were going to head to the beach and go to a pool at the beach and she was  so excited all day. She even skipped her nap in anticipation of my husband returning home so we could go down to the beach. It is such a fun family place to visit and we didn't spend much money at all. Parking for the day is $8 and the cost to get into use the pool facility is $10 for adults and $4 for kids.  The facility was super clean (which was a nice surprise) and the pool wasn't extremely cold so Mila was able to enjoy being in the pool for longer than 5 minutes. They also have a little water splash area outside of the gated pool for kids to come and play (which is free) and a great little sand play area too. Even though we didn't eat at the restaurant, there is a little cafe call Back at the Beach which had outdoor seating and looked like it could be a great place to just hang and have dinner.
I highly recommend taking the whole family to the Annenberg Community Beach House.  It's a great spot to hang for the day and it allows you to have the best of both the pool and the beach. If you want to find out more check out their website.
Happy Sunny Days to you!

Making Mama Friends

The past few weeks I've been feeling very nostalgic and missing NYC. I miss our neighborhood, seeing people out at all hours of the day, Bonsignour's iced coffee, Westville's turkey burgers,  Cafe Cluny,  Bleecker Street playground and the many people and kids who trek through the park on a daily basis, but most of all I miss my NYC friends. When we first moved to NYC we had a bunch of friends from college and our early working years, but after we had Mila I made some of the most amazing mommy friends. I belonged to the West Village Parents website, Highline Mommies and Bowery Babes. Through these parents groups, I have made some of the most wonderful friends. During our days home, we met up for play dates with the kids, we had biweekly girls dinners, monthly group dinners with our husbands and spontaneous meet ups at the park, coffee shop or on the street corners.  I knew I could pick up the phone at anytime and any one of my girl friends would be around to chat, help me with any mommy question or just be there to support me through this new phase in my life.
Since we've moved to California, I find myself wondering how people meet each other and how I will make new friends. Manhattan is such a social city and people are always out and about.  Every place we've been so far everyone has been super friendly, but I don't get that same sense that people are looking to make new friends here.

Yesterday I met up with an old coworkers older sister who recently had a little girl and has lived in LA for 5 years. I had emailed her about a week ago and we decided we would meet up for a walk in Santa Monica along the bluffs.  I was so excited to have a mommy friend to meet. Some one who could explain how to make friends in LA and what activities people do during the day with their kids. She couldn't have been nicer and it was so great to have someone to chat with and as we walked along Ocean Avenue, I was so appreciative for the amazing view, beautiful weather and great company.  I didn't realize how lonely I've been and how much I truly miss having girlfriends close by. I know it will take time to meet friends but it just made me realize how lucky I was to live in NYC and to have met some of the most interesting, funny and wonderful people who will probably be in my life forever.
As I can't complain, the weather in LA this summer has been amazing and we've been enjoying exploring new places, parks and restaurants... I still can't wait to go back to NYC to visit some of my favorite spots and favorite people.

Here are a few pics from my walk yesterday... I know it's going to become a favorite place of mine to walk, talk and hang out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Huntington Beach

Fab had a soccer tournament in Huntington Beach over the weekend and Mila and I decided to tag along. We packed our swimsuits and thought it would be fun to hang at the beach for a little while until the games started.... it was such a fun treat. We originally thought we would find a beach in Newport but we ended up finding a perfect spot close to Fab's tournament in Huntington. We were able to park on the street (knowing that we would only stay an hour or so) and the beach wasn't crowded at all.  The weather was amazing, the water was actually pretty warm and Mila enjoyed playing in the ocean. This is the first time she felt comfortable jumping in the water and actually standing to let the ocean cover her legs.  I'm so happy we decided to tag along for a little adventure... it only took 45 minutes to get down and we had such a blast. I realized there are so many amazing spots down south so I can't wait to take another weekend to explore Newport/Huntington again! Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I recently found this picture and had to share it again. This was the first weekend we were down in LA looking for places to live and Mila picked this outfit... so fitting for the LA sunshine.

Parks and Recreation

We have been on a search to find our favorite park. Although there are some great parks in our neighborhood, we decided to venture out and check out a new one today.  I read the park in Pacific Palisades was great for toddlers and climbing so we packed our bag and drove on over. Mila enjoyed the swings and fire truck climbing structure. It was a perfect day since it was overcast and cloudy and the park didn't have too many trees to protect from the sun. We did notice there were a lot of kids on scooters so we made a note that next time we will bring our scooter.... happy weekend.