Friday, December 31, 2010

Date Night (with Gather + True Grit)

Tuesday I turned the big 3-2...which seems not too notable or exciting. Since we had such a downer of a day on my birthday (travel + jet lag), we decided that this would be birthday week! Last night my mom babysat and we had a date night- I can't remember the last date we've had. It was the perfect birthday treat.

We started the night off at Gather. It's this amazing new restaurant near the UC Berkeley campus. The food's local, sustainable, and all that good stuff. The chef  is young (he looks like a grad student that wandered off the school's grounds across the street), and hailed as a best new chef by various foodies and media outlets. With Gather's righteous attitude towards food and all the fanfare we thought the place would be pretentious, but it was quite the opposite. After leaving the restaurant Mark and I were talking about how several Bay Area restaurants serve upscale, to-die-for food, while remaining completely down-to-earth and approachable. Gather has instantly become a new favorite for me: most everything in the decor is salvaged material (including bench upholstery made from old leather belts sewn together), every bite of the food was flavorful and completely enjoyable, the waiter was warm, knowledgeable, and not too into himself/explaining the food (a plus at this type of place).
Food and Wine Magazine voted Gather's Vegan Charcuterie (pictured below) a top ten restaurant dish of the year. Umm- it was amazing! I can't describe the flavors- but I wanted to savor every delicious bite.
Here's what we had:
*out of 4 starts each
Vodka Smash (Cocktail) **
Bitter Rose (Cocktail) **
Vegan “charcuterie” ****
Sausage
– pork belly, chile, Fontinella ****
Barbecued young chicken
– farotto, turnips and tops, punterelle, cheese rind oil ***
(farotto= farro risotto and was freaking awesome!)
Scoop of cream cheese cranberry ice cream **
(The choc mousse looked tasty- but we were pretty full by then)

Bottom line: Go here. It's awesome.

After dinner we walked two blocks over to see True Grit at the California Theater.
I'm not one for westerns- but this is a must see. It was funny and touching. Jeff Bridges and 14-year-old  Hailee Steinfeld stole the show. I won't ruin it, but young Mattie is out to avenge her father's murder.
 Matt Damon is also in the movie, and provides a lot of laughs. I usually bristle at the Cohen Brothers violent movies, but this was entertaining and not too violent at all.

All in all, a great date night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Living Nativity

My sister and her husband had a living nativity this past Sunday with all their friends' kids. Grandma Ruff had Sadie for the night- as a samurai shepherd.

xoxo Rebecca

Thanks to David for the video footage-

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Season of Busy

Things have been a little busy in these parts--

Just this week:
Mark's finishing up a massive paper for his master's program
I finished up a Lit Assessment course I taught online
Our staging was taken away (now we have an empty house)
We had several realtors show our house (which = a lot of cleaning for us!)
Lots of Christmas parties, shopping, and wrapping
AND...the most important....Sadie is starting to walk!! She's gaining confidence and is taking 3-5 steps regularly. Perhaps she'll be polished enough to WOW the relatives at Xmas.

Here are some recent photos-
 Cutie patootie
 See Mom, I can share (with buddy, Kate).
 They both "stole" these items from each other. The grass is always greener...
 Cheese and books= bliss

 blocks!

Bye bye boring furtniture!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dance Party

This weekend Sadie was clapping her hands to the music, bobbing her head, and playing a little tambourine.
video

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My (belated) Birthday!!

Thanks for my party guys! I love being one. It was so cool to have a party at the park!
I liked playing in the sand with the big girls.
 Mmm bangers and beans. Grandma Ruff cooks up some mean beans!
Uncle Aaron cooking with his crazy face on.
I like playing with my baby friends (hi Audrey!), but I play nice so that I can sneak away their food.
 Mmmm- I like to make use of my 8 teeth!
 My cousin Roro
 Some more friends!
 Kate- I got my eye on your bread stick!
 Judah and Micah take a whack at the sticker-filled Zebra.
 Judah got very attached to the Zebra. He didn't quite understand why we were hitting it and why treats eventually came flying out if it.
 I loved when you all sang me happy birthday! I felt so special!
 All done! I liked my purple frosting the most!
Can't wait for my next party!
Love, Sadie Fern

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1-2-3 I loved you vacation! See you again soon!

My vacation was restorative! Who hoo! Let me count the ways-

1. I love people and being with friends, it rejuvenates me. There was lots of social time over break. It made me happy. To name a few...
  • Indian food at Mike and Shea's
  • Christmas stocking making with Anne
  • Hang out with Aaron and Sarah
  • Thankgiving with family and good friend Seth
  • Apple picking with my family
  • Thanksgiving leftover meal with OCC friends
2. Another reason why this was such an lovely break, is that I got a lot of time to create. I made an Advent calendar for my sister's family out of paper. I spent all last Tuesday cutting and pasting tiny figures to complete a wintry scene. It was bliss! If you'd like, I can make one for you too (if you ask nicely)! I also spent yesterday making felt Christmas stockings for our family with my good friend Anne. Again, I got a surge of joy in the creative process. We're not quite done yet, but I got the gist of it, and we should be able to finish up soon. Sadie and Mark's stocking are super cute! Tis the season to create!

3. Our family time was so relaxing over break. Sadie was especially silly and happy over this week. It was nice to play with her. She often breaks out in giggles at the slightest oddity (e.g. dad playing with her toy, dad chasing her, or dad doing something else silly). Having a baby has to be one of the best things in life.

Now it's time to gear up for work tomorrow. I'm going to put on my positive face!

xoxo- Rebecca

ps. pictures to follow, once my new charger comes in the mail!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Wow, if I didn't have these things in my life I don't know what I'd do!?--

1) My husband. Mark is amazingly supportive. If it's a dirty diaper that needs changing, a dish that needs washing, or a wife that needs to talk- he's there, quick. I don't know who I'd be without Mark- he's been my side kick for over 9 years (!). I'm especially thankful that Mark helps me to be a better me, and we just have fun together.

2) My Sadie lady. This year has been the year of Sadie. She is my joy. I love every inch of her- she makes me laugh a lot. I am really thankful to be her mom!

3) My family. We are alike in so many ways, and different in so many others. Things are not always peachy when you have a handful of emotional, passionate, and dramatic peoples sharing life together. But, I love my family. We are there for each other when life calls for it (and sometimes just for fun!), and being with my family makes me feel safe.

4) Peets. I know this is silly, but Peets feels like community. When we go to our nearby Peets we always run into someone- sooz, roro, my mom, neighbors, friends, folks from work- it feels like Oakland to me, like home.

5) Creativity. This really fuels a lot of what I do, and I'm so thankful that I'm a creative person. Mark just commented yesterday that that's probably why I love teaching- I love creating ideas for lessons and motivating kids.

6) My church. We've been going to a new church this fall- Oakland City Church. It has really motivated Mark and I spiritually. It's also been great to become involved in a vibrant new community. 

7) Steadfast friends. I'm not a great friend- I've come to realize (even though I try). I'm good at having a couple of close friends, and I'm not so good at cultivating a large deep friend network. My two closest friends- Trish and Katie live so far away from me, but they are dear to me. And, they've put up with me for a long time. It's just like to have people that know you so well, and that experience the ups and downs of life with you. Thanks ladies!  It's also been lovely to have a group of friends in Oakland to share life with... we've lived here about 10 years and we've creating some lasting friendships...I'm really thankful for my everyday friends!! It's been so wonderful having a group of friends nearby that are at the same life stage and share the same values.

There's a lot more...but the rest is pretty superficial (like Hulu, new clothes, my car, farmer joe's etc...).

Be thankful today, and listen tomorrow- because tomorrow is the National Day of Listening (not shopping!).

Peace xoxo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chatterbox

So my camera's battery is dead, and I can't seem to find the charger anywhere. And can you believe that Cannon charges $95 for a new charger! Hmmm, we'll need to shop around.

Sadie is one- who hoo (pictures to follow at a later date)! We had a lovely celebration for her in the park with family and friends. It was a perfect fall morning. At her 1-yr healthy child visit, her fabulous doctor, Dr. Tenney, reported that she is in the 90% percentile for height, 90% for her head size, and 50% in weight. Sounds like her dad!

Sadie motors around all day, here are some highlights:
    • playing with toys- whether sanctioned or off-limit items
    • constant talking, including her catch phrases, "uh-oh" and "oh yeah". and she started saying "happy" after her birthday- for reals!
    • praciting her standing and taking a tentative step! Perhaps more will follow, soon!
    • being a yogi constantly with the downward dog yoga pose
    • playtime with friends- she's learning to be gentle and not grab hair
    • she's loving food- homemade soups, vegetable/fruit medleys, crackers, yogurt, and of course, cheese
Here's a video shot a couple of days ago- Sadie is in her element. And, she calls this caterpillar toy A-B, because it sings the A-B-Cs. Hmmm, I think I have a little chatterbox on my hands.

Have a great Thanksgiving!!! XOXO

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Round Up

It's a typical afternoon in the Anderson casa. Sadie is tired, but refuses to sleep. Instead, she's motoring away placing her favorite bath toy (a camo pick duckie from Aunt Susannah) in and out of plastic cups. She has toys in her room, but she always eventually crawls to find her bath toys- which are her #1 favorite.

I started teaching an online course- Literacy Assessment- for a teaching credential program in late October. So, if you were wondering why I've been a blog slacker- I'm been channeling my computer energy to teaching this class. I'm learning a lot as I go about how to teach an online class and more about literacy assessment. I'm glad for the opportunity. Perhaps I'll teach more college classes in the future. I think I would like that. To teach teachers, I think it really helps if you are an current teacher yourself- IMHO.

Sadie's 1st birthday is this Friday. I can hardly believe it. My little one has grown up so fast. Her reasoning ability is skyrocketing. She's also more aware. So we have to be a little more careful- she understands so much, and is soaking it in.  One annoying thing is that she's learning how to manipulate us- her cries are more insistent and for things she really wants (food and freedom from her bed, mostly). But it's great to watch her learn and discover. As I type, she is putting her bath toy bucket on and off of her head, over and over.

We're planning to have a low key party at a nearby park- and we're hoping California graces us with some seasonally warm weather. Having a bunch of families over isn't as fun in our small house. A big space with slides and swings is definitely a lot more fun (and more manageable too)!

We went chestnut picking for Mark's 34th birthday. We had a lovely day. It was nice especially to have a lot of driving time for Mark and me to talk. Here are some photo highlights:
This are what the chestnuts look like on the tree. But you have to pick them up off the ground. They're not ripe when they are on the tree inside their prickly husk.

Okay- Well, I'll be sure to upload some photos from the birthday bash.

xoxo

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chatty Lady

Here are several recent videos of our chatty baby. She's 11 months-- 1 year on November 12th. She saying a lot of words now, including pa/ba for grandpa, bye-bye, ma ma, da da, up ("p"), dog, and a few more.




Friday, October 8, 2010

oaktoberfest for sure

So, we've been off this week. And it's flown by so fast. We stayed around Oakland- did some fun things with friends and family: Grandpa Vince visited from Chicago (so fun!) last weekend, we went to SF Zoo on Wednesday, and out to Underdog Wine Bar in Livermore today  to visit my brother. Other than that we really chilled a lot with Sadie, went on walks to Peet's (of course!), and yes, worked. Tomorrow we have a packed day- helping out at Harbor House, my old 9 to 5, and going to the most awesome (for reals) Oaktoberfest in our hood.

The biggest turning point this week is that we came to terms with the fact that we probably won't sell our house this fall. We'll keep it on the market until the staging contract expires...but the market is looking pretty bleak. On the downside, we did a lot of packing and cleaning to get the house ready. On the bright side, we don't HAVE to sell, and we really like where we live (besides it being a little smallish). So I'm trying to emphasize the positives so I don't get too bitter about the wasted $ and effort.

So here's my list, 10 things I love about where we live:
1) Great Walkability: Library, Dimond Park, Farmer Joes, Safeway, Peet's, CVS, Chase, Glenview, etc..
2) We have great new oak floors in the kitchen...they are wonderfully beautiful
3) We really like our neighbors!
4) My driveway garden rocks
5) PEET'S (this deserves to be on the list 2x)
6) Jean Quan Councilwoman - and hopefully soon-to-be mayor!
7) Sausal Creek trails a couple minutes away
8) Our bedroom paint color is perfect
9) Close to friends- nyquists, rorks, ogdens, family... and we always run into people we know
10) Oaktoberfest (but why can't they just call it Oktoberfest?)

So, i love the Dimond. And if we don't sell now, maybe we were meant to be here a little longer. And that's okay.

p.s If you're in Oakland, make sure to check out Oaktoberfest...year #3, and a guaranteed good time for all!
p.p.s. Last year they ran out of beer at 4pm.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Laughing and Talking and Walking

This video starts about two minutes into a Sadie laugh attack. But don't worry, she still had some giggles left for the camera. She then proceeds to walk all around her room, giving a lecture in her Sadie language.

video

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Queen of Crawl

Sadie has had several developmental breakthroughs. In the past week, she's learned to crawl, stand up, and get from lying to sitting on her own! Also, she's started consistently saying bu-bu for bye-bye whenever we leave the house, and she's fascinated with dog and says d- d- every time she sees a dog. One smart baby. The only issue is...she's been interested in practicing these skills, and not napping. Grandpa Vince got to see her in action this weekend...she slept very little, but sure learned to get around her crib. I know this fascination with her new skills will pass...it frustrating and silly all rolled into one!

Yesterday, Sadie shows how she can get up to standing in her crib.


This video is from last week. Sadie's first attempts at crawling. She's gotten a lot faster in the last week. This is a long one, but if you make it to the end-- Sadie says bye bye.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sleep Sitting

Yesterday was the first day that I saw Sadie sitting up in her crib (after I had put her down). I was very excited that she  finally got into a sitting position on her own. She just learned how to crawl, so I guess this comes with territory.Then, this afternoon I was having a hard time getting Sadie to go down to sleep. Every time I went into her room she was sitting up, crying. I thought she just wasn't tired. Then tonight about an hour after she went to bed she started crying. I went to check on her and she was sitting up crying and in a sleepy daze. Oh my! What a silly bean! I think she's just practicing her new trick, or sitting up unconsciously, and then getting stuck. I wonder how long this will last. It's quite a funny sight to see!

Night!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Phew!

Boy, I've been a lame blogger this month. My world is super busy. Our house goes on the market tomorrow (hence the Phew!). We're hoping for the best. In a perfect world we'd love get an offer and  find a new house simultaneously,  but in reality, we'll probably have to shack up with my gracious mom for a bit. We love our current house, but we're just outgoing it (and i know what you're thinking....no, I'm not pregnant).

Most importantly (and wonderfully!)-- My brother, Aaron, got married. We are all so excited about his fabulous new wife, Sarah!! Their wedding was a blast. So those of you who haven't seen the gazillion pictures on facebook- here's some to give you a little taste of a lovely day. A day all planned in less than 6 weeks- uhhmaazing!
The sweetest couple ever--really--

Baby Polly (Sarah's niece) with Sadie...there were 4 flower girls in matching tutus...ridiculously cute
The babies rode down the aisle in style--
Some of the Baird clan--It's always nice to celebrate life's joys with good friends
Family and good friends-
Yumminess- Lunch was falafel or taco truck food fare
Shell Bell- Mama #2
Cousin dance fest
The Ruffs made it all the way out from Philly!!
It was a perfect day. I'm so excited for their marriage! It's also really fun that we have more extended California family (her family lives in Chico and is great). And, Sadie has a new baby BFF.

As far as Sadie stats- she's as cute as ever, and hanging in as we scurry her around place to place throughout this moving process.  She's not crawling yet...but loves cruising on furniture. She can get pretty far real fast.

Happy Wednesday!!

Time for bed. I'm pooped.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sadie Lady

I know I have been a blog slacker lately. Our life has been a little crazy. We are aiming to put our house on the market in a couple weeks, and there is a lot to do to get ready. So for those of you (especially family) that have been waiting for some Sadie updates, here is some video highlights over the past few weeks.

We took her to her 9-10 month appointment last week. She clocks in at 20.5 lbs and 29 inches. One long baby! She's not crawling yet, but cruising around on furniture and moving around wonderfully!


My musical little lady--

Bath time fun!---

Getting ready for Aaron and Sarah's wedding THIS weekend!!!--

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We're Moving!?!

A few weeks ago we were driving with my mom to the Oakland Zoo. It was a Sunday afternoon, so there were a lot of open houses around. We stopped at one right around the corner from my mom's....and that off-the-cuff decision started us on the path to pack up our stuff and put our house on the market-- quite unexpectedly. We didn't end up going after that house. We love love loved it-- but there were to many structural issues to make it worth it. But we decided, along with our kind realtor's gentle urging, that it was as good of a time as any to get our house ready to sell.

Three week later our living room looks like this:


And an army of these guys (gross dust mites)--

Is making me feel like this--

I'm pretty sick. I don't think it's just the dust...but it may be part of it. I'm also running myself ragged trying to pack, getting ready for my brother's wedding, taking care of a 9-month-old, and working. So, we shall see if this was the best decision to move now. We all need a little something crazy in our lives once in a while, eh? Btw- I already found my dream house. We just hope it doesn't sell within the next month!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fatal Paris

These are my most recent reads. My sister suggested I read Sarah's Key, a historical fiction novel set in the 1940's in France. In a series of events largely ignored by the French people, the French police, in collaboration with the German Nazis, locked up French Jews and sent them off to the gas chambers. Families were separated from each other early on in France and then taken to other concentration camps.This book tells of a young girl's journey to the camps, and what life was like after her escape. I loved the historical aspect of this novel. A whole new moment in history was opened up to me. This was a fast read too, which always makes a book enjoyable. The last 1/3 or so of the book seemed unnecessary-- the author trying to connect the past to the present with a feeble love story. Great novel, sans the romance. Just give us the real hard grit (with a little redemption at the end), please!

The Paul Auster book I picked up at the library. I read the book jacket and was hooked. Being a bit of a design aficionado- I was also intrigued by the pretty cover. I loved this book. It's a hard book to explain. It starts in 1967 when a Columbia college student meets a professor at a party. You get the sense from the beginning that this professor has a dark side, and is possibly up to no good. This eery relationship is central to the plot of the book. And, like Sarah's Key, Paris plays a starring role in this novel as well. The story ends in the present day, and you're left wondering, even as you read the final page. I don't want to say too much--but it's an oddly enjoyable book.

Read on!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Could I not bee any cuter??

Dear People. I am having so much fun being 9 months old! You wouldn't believe how wonderful the world is becoming with each passing month. I love standing now. I've stood for several seconds on my own at different times-- I get really proud of myself when I do that. I'm still not that into crawling, but I think I'll learn to crawl soon-- especially so I can play with those hard-to-reach toys. I love walking by holding onto mom or dad's hands (that's the best!).
Here I am with Grandma Ruff. We went to the zoo! At first I was confused. Why were we walking around and looking at nothing?? But I soon realized that this was a cool place indeed, and many of the animals had been sleeping. Finally we saw some animals! My favorites were the elephants, zebras, giraffes, meerkats, and monkeys. I made a special noise (a raspy growl) when I talked to the animals-- they liked that! After a bit, I began to get excited when dad reached to get me out of the stroller-- oh boy, that meant that he was about to show me a new animal. I can't wait to go back! Hopefully even more animals will be awake next time.
My daddy loves my mommy:
 My dad has a cool hat. And I have new sparkly shoes!!
Every time I go to sleep my parents make yummy food! I can't wait for the day when I get to eat this goodness.
 This pork looks delicious! Especially with the corn scallion salad. MMM, I love melon, so I know this watermelon, mint, onion salad must be the bomb!!
Okay, Grandma is a really good pie maker. I heard that if I'm a really sweet grand baby, I'll get some pie soon. But for now, only mom gets to enjoy grandma's baking. [ BTW: This strawberry rhubarb pie, was THE BEST pie grandma ruff has EVER made. Serious.] 
I couldn't wait for Halloween! This bee costume was calling my name!!! Mom just got out my 12 months clothes from the garage, so we played dress up. It's going to be hard to wait until Halloween to wear my bee costume again...I just loved it soo much! Thanks Elise and Ava for passing it down to me!!
 I really like the hat too.
Could I not BEE any cuter??
XOXO, Sadie

Sunday, August 15, 2010

here comes the bride(smaid)...Part II

Okay...after I put all those dresses online, I went with a totally different one! Their wedding is going to be super casual, so I wanted to be casual as well. I loved the J Crew Dresses, but I think they were a little much for a laid back wedding in the park. This dress and sweater are from Old Navy..and the shoes Kenneth Cole. I think I'll wear gold jewelry. Oh, and I'm super excited about the baby girls- they are going to wear tutus. It's going to be so much fun! Hmmm, but since I got these at Old Navy, I think I can convince my hubby that I need a rehearsal dinner dress too! Oh how I love new dresses!

Side note: Last night I was looking through old picture albums...ahhhh, those were the days... I remarked to Mark that I remember events by the dresses that I wore. I can remember the dress, shoes, hair, jewelry of every dress-up event I've been to (proms, homecomings, sadie hawkins, weddings, graduations, etc...) Is that just me, or is that a girl thing? Maybe I think about it too much!