tired, tasks, Toddlers &Tequila

I'm so tired.

I'm sure you all heard the complaint said around the world "I'm so tired"  by moms, especially new moms, being tired but man it's no joke. I'm sure there will be light at the end of the long 18 year tunnel but for now taking it day by day seems like the only sane thing to do. Perhaps, I've taken on too much at once. 

Some of things going on in my life, in no particular order.

- Trying to design and launch a new blog, this one, while trying to consistently create content.

- Move into and furnish a new studio.  Yes, I signed a lease to a new makeup/photos studio that will be all mine, with a studio mate. Now, cleaning, organizing, furnishing, decorating a new space is kind of a lot to take on.

- Gearing up for wedding season. I guess wedding season has somewhat commenced.  So, signing the lease on the new space, moving in a day before 3 full days of work plus 2 celebrations.  It took about 2 days for my body to fully recover.

- Trying to redo my website. It might not seem so but man does that take up a lot of time. A lot. Not to mention lots of "disagreements" with hubby.

- Trying to maintain an orderly household.  Operative word is trying. I've not quite mastered this yet or will I ever.  Every time I think the house is in ok condition, I turn around it's turned upside down again.

- Raising the most sweetest little boy who lifts me up at the flash of a smile but also has the power to tear me down with one fussy spell.

- Looking for childcare options for Loki, not as easy as I expected. 

Each individual item I listed isn't so hard to manage by it self but if thrown on top of a million other things, it's the juggling of each moving part that I find hardest to maintain.  Might I add, having only a 2.5 hour window, during Loki's nap time,  to achieve said tasks, mostly without the help of childcare, is the real icing on the cake.  And because I've taken on so much, the mom guilt is in overdrive because I don't feel like I'm giving him my 100%. 

I'm hoping once I'm settled in my space, have a good system going I'm able to tackle more of my creative ideas and be a better mom and wife.  But until then, I guess this is the joy of parenting and running your own business.

If any moms out there have a secret sauce to this parenting thing, I gladly take all the advice in exchange for Tequila. Lots and lots of Tequila.

Sincerely,

Frigga

WANDER/LUST LIST

I've been fortunate in recent years to travel as much as I do.  I grew up less than privileged so traveling was a luxury we couldn't afford, as with many other things.  Now having the freedom, as a business owner, the funds and playing the credit card rewards system game has made what was once such a dream into a reality.  

Here are where my next adventure awaits (I'm putting this out there just in case the universe wants to be kind)

Budapest, Hungary

Vietnam starting from Ho Chi Min City to Hanoi with stops in Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Phu Quoc

San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Spain

Kyoto, Japan

Iceland

New Zealand

South Africa

Maldives

Here are always some favorite places that has won over my heart time and time again...

Mexico City, Paris, Seoul, New York City, Tokyo, Thailand, Italy

Where is someplace you've been dreaming of going?

Pack your bags lets go somewhere!

Koh Phi Phi 

Koh Phi Phi 

Toddler traveling tips

After freshly returning from a trip to Asia, actually by time I post this it would be almost 2 months since we returned, I’ve been getting tons of questions on traveling with an infant/toddler so I thought I’d share how I survived my long haul journey.

janeandloki_005.JPG

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It takes a lot of trickery, preparation and just and being the best damn parent you can be… just kidding. Parenting books will never say this but it really is the luck of the draw.  Sometimes, your child wants to be a shit head and other times they’ll surprise you.  Here are some of my tips in traveling with a toddler… 

1.    Buddy System - Not for the baby. You’re gonna need someone you can pass your baby off to when they are being, as I like to call it, a shithead. Husband, baby daddy, mom, sister or anyone who will hold your baby for 3 minutes so you can chug a glass of wine in peace. It just might be your row mate who’s been google-y eyed over your LO since the start of the flight.

2.    Carrier - I’ve never really been a carrier person. I prefer stroller-ing as I find the carrier too bulky and cumbersome to put on day to day. Don’t get me started on the upper back buckle. I feel like I’m going to pull a muscle every time.  But after our recent trip to Asia (13 hour travel one way and another 20 hours back), we could not have survived without our Ergobaby 360 carrier. Now the regret is sinking in of all our missed opportunities, in-flight or not, that it could’ve came in handy.

Back when I was a wee wittle pup myself, my mom used to backpack us using a podegi, the OG Korean Ergo as I like to call it.  My mom swears by it and any chance she gets she’ll sling Loki on her back and BOOM! Within in 15 minutes, he’s out.  Loki loves the backpack position in the ergo because it's similar to the podegi  and with out fail he falls asleep. While I was on our first 12 hour flight, something clicked and I decided to give it a try. Couldn't hurt right? 10 mins in he was out and fell asleep for a good 4- 5 hours. Not sayin this will work for all babies but if your baby is a tummy sleeper or falls a sleep easily in a car ride, it might be worth a shot.

3.    Splurge - If you have the money or the points, I think it’s worth it to splurge on business class seats on transcontinental flights. The fully reclining seat, extra space and legroom will be clutch when your baby can sleep comfortably for a greater duration of the flight. On our Korean Air flight, the seats were long so I could stretch out my leg straight and still have room for Loki to sleep.  On our Singapore Air flight the seats were wide enough so I could seat him next to me and still had plenty of room.  Of course, the optimal time for these seats is from 0 to when your child starts being mobile.  After that they don’t want to sit still and will constantly wants to be moving around and get into everything. For those babies practicing tummy time, sitting up or loves napping it’s definitely worth the investment. I've learned once they start walking, it’s a whole different ball game.

        For domestic flights, unless it’s a larger airbus with fully reclining seats and flight time is 5+ hours, I don’t really see the value in shelling out 5-10x the cost of economy. However, I do think opting for the extra leg room, exit row seat will be worth the extra $25. For short jaunts (i.e SFO>LAX), people are reluctant to pay that extra fee for a few hours of travel so the back rows usually gets filled up like sardines, leaving the exit row seats pretty empty.  This is where spending the extra $25 is worth it because it’s will be likely seats next to you will be empty, which means your child basically will get a free seat. Think about all the possibilities! You can feed more comfortably without having to worry if your child’s leg is kicking someone in the face, disembark faster and grabbing your luggage is easier bc you won’t be climbing over people or afraid your luggage will hit someone on the head. Did I mention, if they are being a shithead you can just plop them down in the seat next to you.  Insider tip, I hear if you don’t pay for the upgrade you can kindly ask a flight attendant and they will usually let you sit there for free. If you take the risk and the flight attendant doesn’t generously allow you the comfort of more legroom you can also pay for the upgrade on the flight.

4.    Snacks- When Loki was still nursing, for take off and landing I just put him on the boob and it worked flawlessly every time… well… mostly. Now that he’s gotten older he wants his big boy snacks. He wants it all and he wants it now.  There is one cracker in particular that was my favorite and can be found at any korean market. A bbongtegwi is 7-9 inch rice cracker disk that would take him forever to eat. 1 disk could last about the 1 hour flight depending on her age. The key is to have a snack that’s big enough for them to hold and won’t require replenishing every 5 seconds. 

5.    Screen time -  Your doctor suggests not introducing screens til age 2. You can follow doctor’s order or have a bit of sanity. You choose. If you want to introduce screens earlier than that, more power to you. I’m not judging.  With Loki, I tried introducing him to Youtube a month before our flight.  He wasn’t really into it. He’d be interested for a few minutes at a time and then get distracted by something else. I know it does wonders for other children but it didn’t quite work for us on our flight. Now, if I turn on the Trolls movie he's stuck to it like glue. Maybe it's the funny characters or all the colors but kids seem to be drawn to it.

6.    Flight times - We once travelled to Hawaii on sort of a red-eye, departing at 7pm and arriving at about 10pm.  In PST, we would’ve arrived at 2 or 3am.  The travel there was rough. We were trying to handle him on our laps while he was being squirmy and whiney. It was uncomfortable for everyone.  If I knew then what I know now...I would’ve strapped him in the ergo on the back for 20 minutes, where he’d to totally be content and watch him fall asleep. I recommend, if there is not a huge cost difference, opt for a flight that's timed around their nap or sleeping times.  If naptime 12pm, I recommend booking booking an 11am flight.  If bed time is at 7:30 pm, a 6:00pm would be ideal. This allows you time to board, settle in and then take off.

7.    Let it go -  If you are the OCD mom, you have to come to terms that your baby will lick the bottom of his shoe, drop a snack on the ground, pick it right back up and eat it. The person that this is the hardest on is mom. For your sanity, things are going to happen and things are going to get messy. Just wipe it off and let it go.

8.    Music- Loki has the natural gift of dance.  As soon as Bruno Mars comes on the music takes control, his arms begin flailing and, my favorite perhaps because he takes after me, when the beat drops so does he. He gets low!  On one of the shorter flights we were on, he was being a bit fussy which led to crying, which led to me stressing out and getting frustrated.  Then at the brilliant suggestion of our friend we turned on some Bruno.  As soon as we did, his mood changed and he started to dance and  was fine after that.  Luckily it was a an 1.5 hour flight so we didn’t need to keep him entertained much longer after that. Sometimes all they need is a distraction from their pissy mood to get out of it.

9.    Navigating the airport.  If you plan on using a stroller throughout the airport, I recommend checking everything in, even a carry-on luggage.  If you are traveling with a buddy (please refer above to 1. Buddy System), then keeping the carry-on is fine.  If you prefer using the carrier, check in the stroller and car seat. Carry on is good to keep on because the carrier allows you to have free arms.  With the baby, the less you’re lugging the easier it is on you and your body. Also, if you don't already have one, a roomie backpack will be your best friend. Nothing is easier on your arms, back and shoulders as the backpack. I also know it's hard having to reach back around every time you need to show your ID and boarding pass so I can't reiterate enough how much I love my fanny pack for this. I keep my lipstick, card holder, passport/ID, cellphone right at my hip which makes reaching for safe and easy.  The same can be said about a small crossbody bag or a wallet on chain but I still prefer the fanny pack because the  chain/strap is doesn't get in the way of the backpack.

10. In Flight necessities - I'm going to let  you in on something... those things baby manufacturers keep pushing down your throat. You don't actually need all of them.  I'm sure most of my generation grew up with 1/10th of the toys that we throw at our children now. And guess what? We turned out fine. If your child is one that needs all his toys then chances are he'll survive being apart from them for a couple days or weeks.  If you think of it, it's really a means of distraction so we can find some peace and quiet but how long does it really keep their attention?  By all means, if you have a toy that can distract your child for 2 hours, I call that a necessity! Otherwise, leave the Bumbo, silcone mats, play gyms and their 5 massive toys at home.

 All the things you need on flight and while traveling are:  diapers, wipes, moisturizer, sunblock, weather appropriate clothes, lovey (security toy/blanket), snacks and clothes. Everything else is a luxury.

Airlines have toys, stickers and coloring books for tiny travelers which help so much.  I hear tape/stickers keeps kids entertained for hours.

11: Car seat - This was the top question on my mind before we started traveling with Loki.  How are we gonna get to and from the airport? Up until then I thought the only way to drive with an infant car seat is to click them into the base. I was wrong. From then on it's gotten quite easier. Going through it once will help you with the ins and outs.  Here is what I've learned.

Most countries require car seats whether they enforce this is a different matter. Taxis don't require a car seat. Ubers are suppose to require one since it's a private vehicle however most of the drivers are young so I don't think they are aware of the laws especially if you're only traveling a short distance.  Car rental places do offer car seats but with an additional charge of course.  If you plan on doing a road trip or being in the car for a great distance it might be worth it to bring one along. 

Infant carseats are easier to travel with since they can click in to the stroller.  For convertible car seats, we recently got the Evenflo Tribute which is super easy to buckle into cars and the GoGo Baybeez travel mate to strap on to the car seat to wheel him around. He loves it so that when we had the car seat in his room, he'd just want to go sit in it all the time.

I'll share my more favorite traveling gear and baby items in a separate post.

12: Think about the destination. If we go to Kansas, where my husband is from then we don't bring a stroller.  It's a driving city that is often too cold or too hot, its unlikely we will be hanging outside. We will drive, park and walk about 50 feet into some establishment.  Same with SoCal unless we plan on visiting Disneyland.  If we go to Europe, we will likely be walking a lot and jumping into to short Uber rides which would make a stroller necessary. If we go to Chiang Mai, where the sidewalks are a bit rough, then we will ditch the stroller and use the carrier. If we go to Korea or Japan, it's a toss up because the subway systems are so good but often times lacking elevators for anyone using a wheelchair or stroller. If we go on a beach holiday, we really won't need a stroller unless we decide to head downtown to shopping center. Since he's a toddler now, we would probably let him walk more to tire him out.

Something tells me this post will be constantly updated. 

I'm sure I'm leaving out a ton of info. If you have any awesome tips please share them below. I always love hearing more tips.

Sincerely,

Frigga

Mexico City

My wise friend once old me, there are tourists and then there are vacationers. The former is usually includes jam packed itineraries, Tripadvisor review references and a stop at the usual tourist traps. The latter is usually relaxing, being tended to by staff, doesn’t require too much activity and likely to take place on a beach or resort. Then there is Mexico City. It just takes to you instantly.  It's beautiful and relaxed. Modern and traditional. Raw and eloquent.

 Our 5 year wedding anniversary was approaching and we had just returned from 3 weeks in Seoul and Thailand, where I originally wanted to go for our anniversary, so a big trip was out of the question.  I was debating between Seattle and Mexico City and decided on the latter for a richer and more international experience. So against all US Travel advisory warnings, we took the leap. I was bit nervous prior to the trip but that went away quickly once we landed. Visnu and I both loved it. It was the perfect pace for our travel style and we can't wait to return.  Have I mentioned yet how good the food is? And cheap!   

I recommend going with no agenda, except for restaurant reservations, and just take in the beauty of the city, eat the delicious foods, stroll the tree lined streets and wander leisurely like a local. There were moments and places that are reminiscent of St. Germain, Paris, New York's West Village, West Hollywood and bits and pieces of Asia but richly unique in it's own charming way.

Places to stay…

I recommend staying in La Condesa or Roma Norte.  I’m not sure the range of hotels available in these two neighborhoods but Airbnbs are surely the way to go here.  I think Mexico City has some of the best Airbnb options out of anywhere in the world. The homes in these parts are beautiful, very affordable, quite modern and bursting with so much charm. The most desirable area in this neighborhood, for me, is around Amsterdam Avenue where you’ll find trendy eateries, cafes and beautiful homes. I've bookmarked some Airbnbs here + here

Places to eat…

Behind the bar at Pujol

Behind the bar at Pujol

Pujol - rated one of the best restaurants in the world.  I recommend trying the omakase menu at the bar. For $2350MP, it includes a 11ish courses and a pairing, and a little Tom Cruise show while the bartenders whips up your cocktails.  The dining room is a lovely experience but may leave some room for disappointment.  Usually at fancy schmancy establishments, I prefer bar seating over the dining room because the experience is more casual and laid back. The dining room, for me, sometimes feels a bit rigid and too formal for my liking. However, at Pujol the entire staff was so welcoming, nice and knowledgeable and they were so open to inviting dining guests into their pristine kitchen. It's a beautiful space and with a serene out door patio.  If you can't score reservations, it's definitely worth the visit to the bar for drinks al fresco.

Contramar - This seems to be a fan favorite and was the most recommend restaurant for us.  Their special fish, Ahi Tostada, anything octopus and fig flan were amazing are not to be missed.

Maque - This is a beautiful restaurant inside and out. It had quite the wait on a late Sunday morning. For me, the food wasn’t mind blowing but it was a solid meal and I’d recommend it highly for the ambiance.

Mercado Roma - Its a hip place with food international food offerings.  I like to eat local food when I'm traveling so I was a bit disappointed to see it was mostly international food offerings. While all the stalls may have been good, we only had the paleta, Churros and pork tacos.

Tacos El Tizoncito - You’d be surprised to find out this was probably my husband and I’s favorite dining experience. We walked up to a communal bar table that sat both inside and out.  The weather was perfect that evening and the staff was so nice. You also get a little show when the taco guy slices the pineapple from up above and catches it in the taco. I can’t vouch that this is the greatest tacos in Mexico, although they claim to be the creators of the al pastor, but we loved it.

Tostadas de Cocoyuan - If you visit the Frida Khalo museums, this food stall is a 3 blocks up in the Mercado Cocoyuan.  There are several stalls selling tostadas so make sure you go to the right one. They take up 4 stalls in the center.

Some restaurants on our list but we weren’t able to go were Maximo Bistrot, Panaderia Rosetta, Tacos Tonos, Mercado San Juan

Places to see…

Resting at Museo Nacional de Antropologia

Resting at Museo Nacional de Antropologia

This one isn’t my fortay. I like to take in local neighborhoods as opposed to sights.  However this is a home to a million museums and about an hour car ride to historical ruins and palaces.  

Frida Khalo Museum  - home of where there famed Mexican artist grew up and resided with husband Diego Rivera.

Museo Nacional de Anthropolgia - This is a gorgeous expansive museum and definitely the most worth checking out.

Luis Barragan House - home of famed Mexican architect Luisa Barragan. We didn't get a chance to visit but heard amazing things.

Museo Jumex - a new modern art museum

Teotihuacan - We didn't actually visit here and didn't feel so bad about it once we went to MNAC since there is a mini version on exhibit.

How to get around…

I was surprised to learn how bike friendly this was.  Designated bike lanes and public bikes made getting around places so easy and it’s another great way to take in city without taking a toll on your feet  Check out Ecobici to sign up for an account..  

Uber is very accessiable and cheap. Our  30 minute UberX ride, usually 20 with traffic, was $6USD.  

Noteworthy tips…

Lots of businesses, aside from most restaurants and nightlife, close early on Saturdays and Sundays.  Double check the business hours of any place you want to check out.

Museums are closed on Mondays.

If you are withdrawing money at the ATMs, they use $ as the currency sign which makes it confusing for any Americans.  

You don’t need to carry much cash.  Most places take credit cards aside from street vendors. For a 4 day stay, I recommend not exchanging more than $100 USD.  There are banks everywhere so if you run out, it’ll be easy to find an ATM.

If you need food recommendations, Yelp was pretty spot on. I think it’s contributed by both US and Mexican users.  

If you are coming from the states, you’re accustomed to Mexican food being quite heavy and heartburn inducing. I found the food to be much lighter. I could probably eat double the number of tacos there than here.

Don’t go finding burritos. They are nowhere to be found.

The people are so nice.  When a vendor couldn't understand me and vice versa, there was always a willing patron who jumped in to help translate. 

It's not as scary as the US Travel Advisory warns. I'm sure there are plenty of places in Mexico that are but our experience in Mexico City, specifically in La Condesa, Roma Norte and Polanco neighborhoods the people are nice and felt safe. There are pretty much police officers on every corner. 

If you go, I hope you have a safe and wonderful stay.  

 

Table for 1

Table for 1

->

->

IMG_1396.JPG
Plating station

Plating station

Beautiful bathrooms at Pujol

Beautiful bathrooms at Pujol

Entrance + Exit at Pujol

Entrance + Exit at Pujol

Al fresco dining at Maque

Al fresco dining at Maque

Pretty corners everywhere you turn in CDMX

Pretty corners everywhere you turn in CDMX

Practical Vision at Museo Jumex

Practical Vision at Museo Jumex

Just chucking my phone at Museo Nacional de Athropologia

Just chucking my phone at Museo Nacional de Athropologia

Pretty glares

Pretty glares

Living room at Pujol

Living room at Pujol

Shadow play at Frida Kahlo Museum

Shadow play at Frida Kahlo Museum

Churros at El Moro

Churros at El Moro

Creepin Camels at Museo Jumex

Creepin Camels at Museo Jumex

Four Seasons in Polanco

Four Seasons in Polanco

Twirls

Twirls

Delicious seafood at Contramar

Delicious seafood at Contramar

IMG_1394.JPG
Fresh juice at Ojo De Agua

Fresh juice at Ojo De Agua

Pit stop

Pit stop

Creeping camel at Museo Jumex

Creeping camel at Museo Jumex

IMG_1408.JPG
Our Airbnb living room.  Alejandro was an amazing host. Check out his home  here

Our Airbnb living room.  Alejandro was an amazing host. Check out his home here

Welcome!

Welcome to AnotherFrigganBlog!

Once upon a time when blogging was still cool, I had a blog. I posted outfit photos and some beauty reviews. Things I thought you’re suppose to post about on blogs. Things I generally gravitated towards on other blog but when it came to creating content of that type, for me, it was very bland. It didn’t quite feel like me nor did it have a unique voice.  It seemed as if I was swimming to emulate another. I like makeup but I wasn’t the reviewing type. I like clothes, fashion and other nice things but I also didn't think I was the "fashionable" type so for me to write about it didn't quite feel natural.  But with that kind of a blog, an incessant need to shop and stay up to date on the latest things and IT pieces were definitely weighing heavily on me and my credit card. Ultimately, since I wasn’t so into the content and posting became a chore, and my bank account can only take so many dings, I let it fall by the wayside =.

Come blog v2.0., a new name, a new face and, hopefully, a refreshingly new point of view of my new life.  It will be an all encompassing blog of me and my baby, Loki, my life and the (in)valuable lessons I gain as I navigate this journey through motherhood, marriage, career, travel and life my  hope is ultimately to help or relate to those who are going through a similar journey.

If you're wondering how I came up with this blog name, Loki is the Norse God of Mischief. Frigga is Loki's mom in Norse Mythology.  I wanted to play on the fact that I, Loki's mom, will share my life, stories, mommy content, random ramblings and ultimately it is just another blog. 

Stay tuned for my insightly profound wisdom and some photos of Loki. Well, probably more photos of Loki.

Thanks for stopping by and following along