Vale at 9 Months

Vale enjoyed playing with her buddy Sienna when we went to visit Matt & Jess in Arvada, CO. On this trip, she thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors, the grass, time by the lake, and discovered her love of slides. She enjoys climbing up slides, though she’s a bit less certain about the sliding down part. She was slightly less cooperative on the plane this time, but still slept most of the way there and back.

 

Overall, she is quite social and enjoys interacting with other babies and people. She had a blast at a couple of birthday parties for her buddies recently.

Vale has learned to like the water a bit more: she enjoys splashing during baths and playing in the hot tub/pool. She was less fond of putting on a bathing suit and being slathered with sunscreen, but the fun times that followed appeared to be worth it, as she had a great afternoon playing in the water at her cousins’ birthday party.

She detests shoes, and broke down in a tearful demonstration of melodrama when we tried to put some cute, sparkly, silver shoes on her feet. She doesn’t walk, and thus doesn’t really need them anyway, though she has stood unassisted a couple of times and just might be walking soon.

She has proven to be an active baby, and hates being confined. If we don’t let her crawl around and explore, she gets extremely frustrated. She’s also a bit stubborn – with shoes, solid foods, hats, and bottles. In the solid food department, we are making some progress though – she regularly eats yogurt now, and has taken a few bites of mozzarella.

Late Third Trimester Exercise

Week 35

Monday: Prenatal Yoga

Tuesday: Hiking by our old house. About 3 miles round trip, 45 minute hike, nice view at the top. One of my favorites for a quick hike because of the short distance (didn’t even have to pee once on the hike!) and decent elevation gain.

Wednesday: Weights. Triceps dips, bridge lifts, squats with 20 pound weights, wall sits, low squat jumps.

Friday: Aspired to walk the stairs at the beach, but did not get very far. I only made it 5 times because I was tired and my legs are starting to hit my belly when I take two stairs at a time which is uncomfortable and annoying as fuck.

Weekend: Really tired, did nothing. Walked around Comicon on Saturday to people watch and go to bars for a few hours (and yell at an anti-abortion protester to shut the fuck up) and that was too much excitement for me.

Week 36

Monday: Prenatal Yoga

Tuesday: 3 hill sprints, 2 sets of 13 squat jumps, 25 regular squats

Wednesday: Triceps dips, squats with weights, wall sitting, bridge lifts.

Weekend: Does lounging around the pool in the desert or going clubbing count for anything? Probably not. On Sunday we walked up a hill near our house 3 times, but that wasn’t too intense and didn’t really counter the weekend sloth.

Desert Trip

The moments are slow when daylight rules and regulates with its majestic restraint and royal logic but

They were driving between canyons and she thought the sky was hers

Imagined she was immortal

Dreamed she had him once

Held a piece of his existence closely, secretly

After traffic had dulled the senses she found her body blissfully floating in a courtyard pool in the middle of the desert while her heart sank to the bottom like lead and when he reached for her hand there was a terrible haze of fragmentation

And she thought

If only this was the expected collapse into a high-density oblivion like before stars explode, a symphony of destruction, and I would still have you and you me and I could catch your scattered pieces of celestial ash in cupped palms grateful that you have been constant through my graceless passage into years

 

 

Biking To Local Breweries

After a hard week, a decision was made to bike to a couple of close by breweries to blow off some steam. The thing with biking to breweries is you can drink beer but feel like you deserve it because you are engaging in some kind of exercise. This was especially the case with some of the hills we encountered on our way.

First, we went to Latitude 33:

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I’d tried a few of their beers at various bars at some point or another. Their beers were not bad at all; however, they also weren’t really outstanding either. Each beer was a solid, well-balanced beer, but nothing that would blow you away.

American Wheat: It looks more filtered and clear than the usual wheat beer. It’s golden in color, and a little bitter at the end. It’s vaguely fruity. It’s almost got some lager tones, but enough to put me off (I don’t like lagers). It’s well-balanced, though not pungent or strong enough for my tastes. 5.0 ABV.

Belgian Witbier: Looks less filtered (more opaque), light yellow in color (think Hoegaarden color). It’s a little bitter on the end also. Some citrus and tartness in there. 4.9 ABV.

San Diego IPA: The pine smell is immediately apparent (a good thing). Citrusy, bright, with a very bitter finish. Fresn. 7.8 ABV.

Honey Hips Strong Blond: I have a friend who loves this. She specifically has said that it’s strong as hell, but doesn’t taste like it. However, I beg to differ. I can smell the alcohol before I even put it to my lips. It’s a deep golden color, with a slightly toasty/roasty flavor.

Vanilla Porter: Shit starts to get good around here. This one was far better than its predecessors. Creamy, but a bit tart on the end,

Breakfast Stout: I got preoccupied playing pool, because they have a pool table you can play for free. All I can say was I liked this a lot. Tasters were not cheap considering this is not a well-known brewery – $2 for the standard 4-ounce tasters. However, the pool made it worth it.

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Next, we made our way to Toolbox Brewing:

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This was probably a mistake, as we were unaware this place specializes in sour beers. Neither of us are sour beer fans. I hear it’s an acquired taste, but I’m not quite there yet. I tend to either like something immediately or dislike it. For instance, I immediately liked coffee and IPA’s, though for most people, these beverages are a matter of gradual liking. Anyway, I wasn’t in the mood for experimentation, and we ended up ordering Last Call IPA and the Mini Mudder Milk Stout. Last Call was a fresh and hoppy IPA (6.5 ABV), but quite standard. The milk stout on the other hand was quite exceptional. It was creamy, full, and had the familiar coffee taste. Beautiful milk stout.

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New Sculpins To Swig

Sculpin IPA is already delicious, crisp, powerful, and one of the greatest beers ever…but wait! There’s more! I finally tried Sculpin Grapefruit IPA. Drank it by the pool at a bachelorette party and it did not disappoint. In fact, I think I like it even better than the regular Sculpin IPA. It has the fresh, crisp, hoppiness of Sculpin but also comes with a lovely and well-balanced grapefruit flavor (pictured above), making it even fresher and more palatable on a hot day. I sat by the pool in the backyard of a mansion in Temecula’s wine country drinking this beer of the gods and texted a picture to my friend. She asked me if I’d died and gone to heaven. Seriously, very plausible at that moment.

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I also recently tried the Habanero Sculpin IPA. I’ve tried several spicy beers by now and I usually treat them like novelties; they are good as a one-time experience. After that, you get kind of tired of the way your throat burns and itches (even if you are a huge fan of spicy food like I am). As amazing as Ballast Point is, Habanero Sculpin fell into this category. Habanero Sculpin IPA definitely tasted like Sculpin IPA, but the masterful creation that is Sculpin IPA was somewhat muddled by the smoky, itchy habanero that grew more potent as the beer warmed in my hands (I wasn’t drinking slowly by any means, but by the time I got toward the bottom, quite spicy/itchy/weird). Sometimes you just gotta leave a good thing alone.

There is a Chinese idiom about not adding legs to the painting of a snake – meaning, if you’ve a got a good thing going, don’t add elements that don’t make sense or ruin what you have. Maybe not applicable to the Grapefruit, but probably a relevant idiom when it comes to the Habanero.

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