Arroyo Seco Weekend 2018

Last weekend, we conquered yet another music festival (Meyer’s third) with the little one in tow acting like seasoned vets. We had so much fun at Arroyo Seco Weekend for the second year in a row and luckily Meyer was an angel for us! Not only was the weather a perfect mix of sunny and breezy, with no humidity like last year, but the atmosphere was so happy and alive. There were so many families in attendance…Dads holding their kid’s hands and Moms pushing strollers around, that we felt right at home. There were a handful of first time music fest parents who were carting around giant wagons stuffed to the brim with every baby product under the sun, and the more experienced music fest junkies whose kids (like mine) were grooving to the music and strutting around with their flower crowns like they owned the place.

With a toddler, you can’t expect to see every band you want, especially when they tend to come on in the evening, so we had to pick and choose who we saw. We enjoyed the music of Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Spitzer Orchestra, Fantastic Negrito, Gary Clark Jr. and Alanis Morissette. Meyer was seriously dancing all over our blanket and I even caught her bobbing her head to the beat while on Anthony’s shoulders a few times. We ate until we couldn’t have another bite and relished in the atmosphere of a great Southern California weekend. I was in heaven sitting in the shade on our Mickey Mouse blanket, sipping my cider from 101 Cider House, enjoying the tunes and magical weather with my family. Being from Maine, I had to try the lobster tacos and lobster Mac and Cheese at Wicked Maine Lobster, which did not disappoint. There was so much lobster piled high on that bowl of creamy mac and cheese, I was shocked! Then we satisfied our sweet tooth with a vegan, gluten-free, organic yogurt cone from Yoga-urt (one scoop strawberry and one scoop vanilla), a vegan chocolate chip cookie from The Naughty Cookie and donuts from Dream Donut Truck. I highly recommend the lemonade donut, it will change your life!

If your kids wanted to explore a little more, you could check out Visions of the Future by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. The cool looking dome had planets hanging from the ceiling, an astronaut photo opportunity and activities for kids with fun ways to learn about the solar system. One of my favorite things about the Arroyo Seco Festival is the Kidsspace Children’s Museum area, which offered drum circles, a play space for toddlers, bubbles and various other activities for kids. They could play with musical instruments, take a photo with a drum set, or make their own guitars and buttons. I encountered another mom inside the play space who admitted that she was a little nervous about bringing her two kids to a music festival for the first time so her and her husband left them at home on Saturday, so they could scope it out without them. She said she felt guilty though once she got to the festival since she saw so many families and kids enjoying the day. She agreed with me that there were a lot of activities for her kids if they got bored with the music but thought next time she would get some headphones for them to muffle the noise. It’s all about being prepared! It doesn’t hurt to bring too much the first time, but you will learn what you need the next time you go. Depending on the venue, low back chairs and a blanket are always key, as well as a stroller or a wagon (depending on how big your kids are), headphones, plenty of sunscreen, wet wipes, antibacterial hand gel, snacks and empty water bottles (they can be filled at the water stations).

As I have said before, music festivals are the perfect place for kids to soak in the culture, tunes and experiences they have to offer. But be prepared, be positive and don’t expect your kid to be perfect. There could be meltdowns that will cause you to miss your favorite bands. There will be potty breaks in the middle of your favorite song, but there will also be memories made and a heck of an awesome weekend for the little one to tell their friends about. Although we didn’t make it to see Kings of Leon (hey, it was a Sunday night and Meyer (also Mommy and Daddy) has a bedtime!) we still had an amazing and memorable weekend and will certainly be back next year for more!

Photo credits: Arroyo Seco Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highchairs and Heels Is Heading Back To Arroyo Seco Weekend

arroyo-seco-17-glory-1480x832Guys, I am so excited to head back to Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena to cover the festival for Highchairs and Heels! Not only is this one of my faves but it is where the idea for my blog sprouted from. It was at the inaugural festival last year, where I was sitting with Meyer and a girl came up to me and asked if she could take a picture of us for her mommy blog. Mommy blog? Why wasn’t I already on top of that one? I knew that would not be my last music festival with Meyer, let alone any other crazy adventure….and BOOM! Highchairs and Heels was born. And this year, I actually get to go back and discover everything Arroyo Seco Weekend has to offer for parents and kids alike…again! The food, the drinks (more for my husband since I’m 8 months pregnant), the music, the atmosphere and the people! I am so excited to be the girl this year who is going around asking mothers how they feel about taking their kids to music festivals, if they have any tips for me and if this is their first time experiencing Arroyo Seco Weekend. We are the few brave mommies who venture out into this music festival world with our kids (and bellies in my case) in tow to have a fun time, just as we did when we were single. And as I have said before, kids can have a blast too! Last year, they had an entire Kids Zone sponsored by Kidspace Children’s Museum set up where little ones could do art projects, make their own music and cool off. Meyer did not want to leave that tent! And on a more somber note, Meyer got to see Tom Petty perform at one of his last shows before he died in October. What toddler can say that?

A few of the performers that I am excited to see this year are Jack White, Kings of Leon, Third Eye Blind, Alanis Morissette, Fantastic Negrito and Jeff Goldblum. Within the vast array of food and drink vendors that will be there, I am excited to check out Baby Love Sweetery, Beer Belly, Chilola’s Fine Filipino Tacos, Hanjip, Ms. Chi, The Naughty Cookie, Yoga-urt and The Ponte to name a few. And even though I won’t be able to partake in any drinking, my husband will surely enjoy the Glenfiddich Experimental Dome where he can sip on some craft cocktails like the banana daiquiri, strawberry rhubarb daiquiri, grapefruit mule and rocket pop snow cone! So, stay tuned for my coverage of the Arroyo Seco Weekend June 23rd & 24th in Pasadena. I can’t wait to share it with you guys!

 

Stroll Down Memory Lane

A few weekends ago, my husband and I took our two-year old daughter on a trip to Austin, Texas and to the exact location where we said our ‘I Dos.’ It felt like home to be back and was heartwarming to see Meyer stomping around in the very spot where we began our life together and technically the thought of her eventually coming into the world. We even had a tree planted next to the ceremony site that Meyer got to see. To her it was just a tree and a rock but to us it commemorated a very special moment in our lives.

To bring Meyer to Austin was very special to us and we had to mark the occasion by buying her some cowboy boots, of course! The entire time we were there, she kept saying ‘Austin, Texas’ over and over again and didn’t want to take off her new boots once they were on her feet. We ate BBQ, walked up and down Congress Avenue, checked out a street fair on 6th Street, went to a few breweries and even got to see the famed bats emerge from the Congress Avenue Bridge. But the most special moment was taking her to Memory Lane Event Center in Dripping Springs, TX (right outside of Austin) where we got married on March 27, 2015. We chose this venue due to its proximity between California and Maine and because Austin is one of our favorite cities. Yes, she cried all the way there because she had to pee so bad and didn’t want to go on the potty. Then she ended up pooping in her Pull-Up in the parking lot, leaving Anthony and I a big mess to clean up, but all things aside, we were finally at Memory Lane with her in tow. Phew! Once we composed ourselves, we walked inside and were greeted by the friendly and familiar faces that had helped us out on our special day. It was crazy to be back and it felt like we were just there, prepping for the big day. We roamed the property, found our tree and snapped a few pictures where we said our vows and were pronounced husband and wife. It was such an incredible moment and we hope that Meyer can one day look back and thank us for sharing that special memory with her.

Clingy Toddler?

FullSizeRenderI am not sure if it is a phase or some sort of toddler regression, but Meyer has been so clingy lately! Anytime I leave her side or am out of her view, it is like she is never going to see me again and she just cries until I pick her up. I’m starting to refer to her as my little shadow or Velcro because she is attached at my hip 24/7. Last Friday when I was cleaning the house, she couldn’t even bear for me to put her down while I vacuumed. So I had to compromise with her….I busted out the Baby Bjorn, strapped her in and went about my business. I used to do that all the time when she was a baby but now that she is almost 2 years old, it’s a crazy workout! She is almost 30 lbs. I have a two-story house. My back hurts.

 

Be a Weekend Warrior

As most of you working moms know, we try to jam in as much time with our kids as possible on the weekends because depending on your schedules, your time together on weekdays is scarce. During the week, I get home anywhere between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm, change out of my work clothes, make dinner, play with Meyer while the casserole is baking or the meat is browning, eat dinner, give her a bath, get her PJ’s on, read her 2-3 books and then put her to bed because it’s already 7:30 pm. It’s exhausting! After she goes to bed, I work out, shower, get my lunch and outfit prepped for the morning (huge time saver) and then before I know it, it’s already bedtime for me! That is why it is important to maximize every second of the weekend, spending time with family and prepping for the upcoming week so you don’t have to waste time doing daunting tasks during the short window of time that you have with your kids on the weekdays. And I still like to have fun on the weekends with my husband because spending quality alone time together when the baby is sleeping is key! That is why it is important to plan out everything and schedule even the most minuscule tasks in your calendar.

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When I get home from work on Friday, all I want to do is curl up with Meyer in her tee-pee, watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and eat pizza, but that would just set me back the entire weekend, so I have to power through those feelings. But rather than sticking her in the playroom while I do my chores, I incorporate her into the mix and we actually have fun cleaning together (her more than me, I am sure). On most Fridays, we go to the library to return the books we checked out the previous week and get 4 new ones for her to enjoy during the coming week. Right now she is obsessed with all the Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’ Connor. They are just so lovely and sparkly! I highly recommend them Mommas. Then when we get home, I started cleaning. The last thing I want to do on my Sundays is clean, so I try to get it done at the very start of the weekend to try to avoid the dreaded Sunday Chore Day. My Sundays are for Fundays, not cramming in the chores, the laundry and the grocery shopping. For most of my 30’s, my Friday nights have consisted of cleaning and watching Dateline, so nothing has changed since becoming a mom. I hand Meyer her own Swiffer Duster, turn on either Puppy Dog Pals or music (depending on her mood) and get to work. She usually follows me around and dusts the floor or her face (hopefully not in that order) while I diligently clean the whole house. She even helps me dust the floor with the Swiffer Sweeper…aka she runs around with it while I chase her and then pushes it up the wall and maybe on the floor or my feet. Even if they are not really helping, I think that it is important to incorporate them (safely) into everything that they see you doing. She is a little too big now, but when she was smaller, I would strap her in the Baby Bjorn while I vacuumed. Next, I make my dinner menu for next week and jot down the grocery list. Making a weekly menu saves so much time since you don’t have to search through the fridge and rack your brain trying to figure out dinner every night. I already know what we will be eating for dinner Monday through Thursday (Friday is leftover day) so when I get home from work, the protein is already defrosted and all the prep work has been done. And just like Cinderella, when I am done with my chores, I get to go to the ball! Meaning, I mix up a cocktail, retire to the couch and watch my Dateline. Ahh….now that’s my perfect Friday night!

IMG_1242On Saturdays (if we have no weekend plans or trips) and after I take Meyer to her My Gym class, we usually do all the grocery shopping. Now, this is what my husband lives for. I swear, he can stay in Trader Joe’s/Costco/Sprouts/Sam’s Club all day! And for someone who hates shopping (me), it is torture. I am ready to leave once we get there but I manage to make it around to get everything on our list, as well as more things that aren’t, and then head home with my weeks’ worth of groceries. I like to make my Monday dinner meal on Saturday or Sunday, that way when I get home from work on Monday, all I have to do is pop it in the oven and we are good to go. It’s already tough heading back to work on Monday mornings after a nice, relaxing weekend, why make it harder on yourself by having to worry about cooking? Once I put the baby to bed on Saturdays, my husband and I like to geek out and play board games or cards. Our favorites are Scrabble and Gin Rummy. But whatever you like to do at home to reconnect and have a quiet date night is important, whether it’s Netflix, dinner parties or just spending a nice evening outside by the fire pit.

Sundays are for sleeping in, church, spending time with your family and catching up on TV, right? If you get everything done on Friday and Saturday, then that is exactly what you will be doing! If you can avoid cramming your entire to-do list on the day before you start your work week again, you will learn to love Sundays as your fun family day instead of the dreaded day before Monday! Trust me, it’s now my favorite day of the week!