Tuesday, July 19, 2011


We are having the best summer and just trying to soak up the days at home...Gianna starts preschool in less than 3 weeks and while this may clear up some time for me to spend with the boys and get other things done...I am dreading it. I don't know how to feel about someone else being a big influence over her (and the boys in the future). Up until this point I have kept my kids pretty sheltered/protected in a little bubble. Who knows what will come along with the time away from her?

For now, I am going to just try to enjoy the next few weeks... maybe we'll try to get in another session of swim lessons or just spend some time playing with friends. Maybe a quick family getaway? Who knows. I just want to be here and giggle about Connor's deep voice and look on lovingly as Gianna is the best big sister I have ever seen and watch her learn and explore her world, and watch Brennan continue to be the biggest trouble maker yet! The kid opens cabinets and pulls books off a shelf like no other 10 month old. They are all learning so much about their world and exploring it together in such a special way.

If there was a pause button, this would be the time to press it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Boys are pretty too

Connor gets pretty excited about anything his big sister likes, so as you may guess he loves princesses, anything sparkley or shiney. It's really not fair to be a boy and wear brown and blue when your big sister has black patent shoes with rhinestones on them and fuschia glitter mary janes.

So lately Connor has been reminding us that he is pretty too. After I put Gianna's hair back (our daily battle) he brushes his and says "Look Mommy, I pretty too!" and he constantly parades around the house in princess high heels and Gianna's too-small patent church shoes asking if I like his pretty shoes. Of course I let him know how pretty he is.

And so very sweet too.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What a year can do...

It's been over a year since I last blogged. Even longer than that if you count when I was regularly blogging. But I find myself at the beginning of Lent and thinking about Lenten promises, making use of our time and reflection. I miss being able to look back at the blog and read our fun experiences and remember those moments. I've thought about restarting my blog often over the last year. Although to be honest, the further I got from regular blogging the more daunting it became to catch up on the amount of time I had missed. Now I am at the point where I wanted to start blogging so much that I am going to skip to the present and add some catch up as I go along. I'll also use the blog more to just record phases, expressions and things the kids are doing along with photos. I hope that this will make it easier to keep up and just add short posts and anecdotes when I only have a moment.

For now: The biggest news of the past year is that Brennan joined us on September 17, 2010. He is a sweet baby and has added so much to our lives. Right now, at almost 6 months he has rolled front to back but has very little interest in doing it much. He can sit up assisted but isn't too steady yet. His favorite thing is to jump. He LOVES his freestanding jumperoo and also uses the johnny-jump-up. He can bounce so high and could do it forever. The only thing better than jumping is having someone's full attention while jumping. He is so cute.

Connor is 26 months and is a lively "terrible two" he throws many tantrums daily and keeps me on my toes. His new favorite thing is running. This can be both scary and hilarious. Luckily he understands parking lots so it hasn't gotten too scary yet. Yesterday it got pretty funny when we were getting ready to leave the mall and he didn't want to leave so he ran as fast as he could away from me and into a lingerie store. He ran straight to the back and hit behind a rack of garters. When I found him he threw his shoes to the left and ran to the right...smart boy. I finally caught up with him somewhere around a rack of neon green bras and we giggled our way out of the store. He is a happy boy when he wants to be and is a climber and outdoorsy kid. Nothing makes him happier than bouncy balls, riding bikes and daddy coming home from work.

Gianna is 4 years, 2 months going on 13. She is little miss bossy and has an opinion about everything. She can be shy in newer situations but once she feels comfortable she can be pretty outgoing. She is enrolled to start preschool in August and is finally getting excited about it. She loves learning but is unsure about being away from Mommy and her brothers. She defines herself by her role as a good big sister and nothing makes her happier than making Brennan smile. She loves books and going to the library and even has her own library card. She is also in a combo ballet/tap class and is starting to learn a dance for her recital in June.

In other family news: Justin is training for a half ironman in July, I am getting back into running, and we are staying busy. We are settled at our house in Brentwood and love our neighborhood. We have a new (to us) minivan after totaling our car in November on the way home from Justin's parents house in Oregon (everyone was fine but our old ford escape). We are looking forward to planting a new garden this year and having a great summer.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thoughts on cleaning

Bear with me as I rant/ramble.

I am one of those people who hates to clean.

Don't get me wrong: I love a clean house, but I hate the process.

One of the great things about moving is supposed to be starting fresh with a clean house, although about 12 hours after moving in here we realized that the people who lived here before us (renters) hated to clean too. But apparently they did not care about their living condition. I haven't decided if this makes me feel sorry for them or us more.

Anyway, we have spent a good part of the last 2 months doing "little" cleaning jobs between the major repairs that have come up as a result of some crazy rain + tornado + bad window seals I am starting to feel a little like we have almost rid ourselves of the old resident's left-overs but every time I clean something I find something else....some things are just going to have to be completely renovated (in time)...like the kitchen cabinets that didn't have handles on them and have very odd things going on as a result of 16 years of oils from hands on them (plus water and whatever else)...and the louvered laundry room doors that I have cleaned for hours and still look dirty (pretty sure those were never cleaned since this house was built)...and then there's the sheet rock repair that needs to happen because of the previously mentioned rain.

I really hate cleaning but I get such a sense of satisfaction when it's done....plus, then your house isn't dirty! I have no clue how the previous residents lived in such a gorgeous house and stared at the 2000+ square feet worth of base boards every day and didn't feel one nagging pull of "I should clean those." Weird, because I did.

I love that we are finally getting to the point where we can just do "maintenance cleaning" and I know I will gladly do it...if nothing else to avoid having to do any major cleaning anytime soon.

Like I said I hate cleaning, but at least I love a clean house.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dentist Success!

The kids had their check-ups at the dentist today. I take them to a great dentist who is so patient with them. This was Gianna's second appointment and Connor's first. I was hoping that Connor would watch Gianna in her portion first and see what's going on (plus it helps Gianna to feel calm when she knows she is teaching her brother something) but he fell asleep on the way there. Turns out that was for the best because Gianna wanted to sit on my lap for her appointment.

The difference between her first visit and this time were amazing! Last time he barely got to count her teeth. This time he counted them all and she was interested then he flossed her, brushed (!!!) and even talked to her for a bit. She was completely cooperative. She was very happy to get her goody bag and prize at the end.

Then it was time to wake Connor up for his turn. He was a little tired but once he got to hold his new tooth brush he was pretty happy. He LOVED having his teeth brushed (of course he loves this every night) and was so calm during that part. Gianna talked Connor through everything Connor was doing and was very excited when he got his goody bag and prize at the end too.

One of Gianna's favorite parts is that the dentist gives her her own "dentist kit" with gloves, a mask and a small mirror to see in her mouth. She wore the mask for the next hour. I am sure people driving by us in the car were wondering what she was up to. Haha.


On a totally unrelated note: On the way home today Gianna told Justin and I that she wants a "real dog" out of the blue. Uh oh....

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Learning consequences

Yesterday morning we told Gianna that if she was nice we would walk over to try the frozen yogurt place that is near our new house. She said okay then proceeded to spend the morning testing us. She was pretty mean-spirited and had an attitude all morning. She must know us well: Justin and I were still so tempted to go to frozen yogurt because we had been looking forward to walking there and having some too. We finally decided that with the amount of tantrums she had thrown and with the way she had been treating Connor that we wouldn't go. She was genuinely surprised. I guess I'm usually a push-over.

So this morning she woke up in an amazing mood and has been very sweet and listening well (with very few exceptions). Of course, she has asked if she can go to frozen yogurt and we told her she has to be a good girl. So far the difference is night and day.

I wonder if she will stop thinking of me as a push over? We'll see.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quick minute

Since I have the treat tonight of having both kids in bed before 8 (yay!) I thought Id share a few quick things:

Gianna is really into "middle naming." She can often be heard through out the day yelling, "Connor David!" or ... all too often: "Mommy Margaret."

I laughed the first 50 times or so. I wonder where she learned to do that? Lol.

Connor just figured out how to high-five and thinks it's awesome. Added benefit to me: he loves it so much that he'll run across the room if I bribe him with a high-five. Works great in the mornings while I'm trying to get my little escape artist dressed.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

February 2010

Time to play catch-up once again. So much has happened since I last blogged (oh, 5 1/2 months ago...and that was a catch-up too) that I'll divide this catch-up into months.

February started off with a visit from Grandma and Grandpa. They came down to spend time with us, see the new house and to help Justin with some repairs that needed to be done. We had a great time together.

Just before Valentines day we got mail! The kids love getting packages in the mail and you can tell by their faces how excited they were to receive a card from Great Grammy, and packages from Grandma and Grandpa and from Ooda and Poppy. Thanks for thinking of us!

On February 10th our friend Sophia got a little Brother! Here is a picture of Nathan and me from the hospital. He looks so tiny...but he was already so big: 10 pounds! Congratulations to Sophia and her mommy and daddy.
Since Sophia's mommy and daddy were at the hospital, Sophia got to spend a few days with us. The kids all had fun playing together and I think it's safe to say that Connor adores her. We loved watching all of them be silly together.Next it was time for Baby Karlie's first birthday. Baby Karlie is one of Gianna's favorite baby friends (we even have a doll named after her). The kids had so much fun playing at the party and especially loved the horses to ride on.Gianna liked the bouncy one best:

Connor liked the mechanical one (although we think he wanted it to go faster).

Last week was the beginning of Lent. We went to Ash Wednesday mass and tried to get pictures of the kids before they wiped off their ashes...we were pretty unsuccessful (you can see Connor's a little more than Gianna's).

Other than that we've been keeping busy trying to get the house cleaned up, decorated, unpacked, organized and moved-in. We've also been spending time exploring the parks in the area and doing lots of crafts. Hope you've been having fun too!

(As a side-note, I have been writing more about the kids on facebook, but since I gave up facebook for lent I might have a little more time to blog....we'll see)

January 2010

Time to play catch-up once again. So much has happened since I last blogged (oh, 5 1/2 months ago...and that was a catch-up too) that I'll divide this catch-up into months.

We started the new year by taking Gianna ice skating for the first time. She liked it more than I thought she would and now she won't stop talking about it. It was so cute to see her put on those tiny skates and then skate around the rink. She went during a time designated for toddlers and preschoolers so they let the kids bring chairs on the ice for stability and they had a little skating lesson. What fun! We can't wait to go again.

Putting on her skates.
Practicing gliding.
Having a skating lesson.
That was fun!

Right before January we moved into our new house. Our new house came with lots of surprises so it had been keeping us busy, but we weren't too busy to have a little party for Gianna's 3rd birthday.

Okay...I know there aren't any pictures of Connor in this post, but it's only because we were too busy moving to take many pictures and I am trying to move on to the fun-filled month of February.

December 2009

Time to play catch-up once again. So much has happened since I last blogged (oh, 5 1/2 months ago...and that was a catch-up too) that I'll divide this catch-up into months.

December was one of our busiest months ever. Besides all of the stuff that comes along with buying a house we also had lots of Birthday Parties (including Connor's), Christmas parties and dance recitals to go to. Plus, with our new tenants moving into our old house in early December, we had to get ready to move out. We were very fortunate that my parents let us move in with them for a while and we also had wonderful friends and family who let Justin stay with them during the weeks while he was working. I have no idea how we crammed so much into one month, it was busy but so fun!

At the beginning of the month we took Gianna and her friends to get their pictures taken in their dance costumes. The girls had lots of fun entertaining themselves while we waited.
The kids are a little unsure of Santa so we were happy to find out that Santa was spending an evening at a local toy shop where the kids could spend some time getting used to him before taking a picture (versus the pressure of the mall). Surprisingly enough, Connor was more nervous than Gianna, so I got to be in the picture too.
Gianna had 5 dance recitals in December and they kept us busy but we never got tired of watching her do her dances. She is so good!The day that we moved out was also our playgroup Christmas party we hung around and we were so glad we did because Santa made an appearance and even brought presents for all of the kids.The next day we made our annual trip to San Francisco to admire the Christmas decorations. Here we are in union square.
The following day Justin took the day off work so we could go get a Christmas tree. Here we are with the tree that we picked. The kids loved helping cut it down.The following weekend was Connor's first birthday. We had a ball themed party and Connor (and all of his friends) loved playing in the ball pit. Connor's favorite part of the party was definitely the cupcake, he ate the whole thing.The week before Christmas was spent getting ready for christmas: sight seeing, wrapping presents and baking! Gianna loves baking cookies.Connor decided to go to bed early on Christmas eve (you know, so he could wake up early on Christmas) so Gianna had to take on the task of writing a letter to Santa all by herself.The tree on Christmas morning:
And the kids playing with their presents:Connor took a nap during Christmas dinner so Gianna had some time to be all dressed up with the grown-ups and her baby.On New Years Eve the Snoopy museum in Santa Rosa had a special noon-time NYE countdown and the kids loved watching the balloons fall from the ceiling. They also enjoyed checking out all of the snoopy and charlie brown stuff there.Happy New Year!