Tuesday, April 28, 2015

...Sneak Peak...

Here is a sneak peak of my sign! I am loving how it turned out. I didn't like the size of the font the first time, so I sanded it down and transferred it again. I am not sure if I will leave the letters as they are or paint over them. I hope to get to the frame some night this week.


...Feast Day...

Gianna, today is your Feast Day. I would love to incorporate Feast Day celebrations into our family life. These will be a bit easier in a few years.
You spent the morning feasting on beautiful rocks that your brother kept giving you. Not to worry, none of the choking variety. The bigger the better with him. You constantly keep us smiling. He rushes to your side any time you get on your hands and knees and shouts, "Sis crawl, MOM!"
You always awaken from your nap and pound on the crib mattress with your legs. I love these little things about you.
The smiles. The brilliant blue eyes. The little rolls. Love you, little lady. 
Saint Gianna Molla, Pray for us!

Monday, April 27, 2015

...dump trucks...

Friday was a particularly exciting day for Gabe. We had five trees removed from the side of our house this weekend. Aside from the chain sawing, ladder trucks, stump grinding excitement, (a two year olds dream) they managed to get the equipment buried in our front yard.
We sat in the driveway and watched them try to pull out the truck with a tractor  (after six hours of trying) for about twenty minutes. Once they finally pulled it out, Gabe cheered, clapped and asked for more. The workers weren't quite as thrilled as he ;).
We also had 7 yards of topsoil delivered to our driveway for various weekend projects.  Gabe grabbed his shovel and was ready to help. Once they left, we were left with the worlds most amazing pile of dirt. He was in it for about three hours that afternoon. There is only a small pile left, but I loved how something so simple can bring so much joy.
We spent the weekend shoveling dirt. He loved every minute of it.
I love this photo of him. I see Steve.

Friday, April 24, 2015


gianna...7.5mo. Loves: her feet, her thumb, sitting, dirt.  She might have waved yesterday to my sister on Skype. She is about to get upgraded in the car seat department. She is now the proud owner of two lower teeth and almost two upper teeth.

gabe...2.5yo. Loves: throwing things, using a drill, his new (real!) shovel, swinging. We purchased a few t-shirts for him this week (4T!!!) and he is very proud of them. This might be his favorite as it is red.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I fell in love with this little guy a few months ago and decided to try to make them for my Easter. Well. I managed to get Gabe's frog done. He is definitely in the homely/cute category, which I honestly wanted. He is on the verge of being too homely ;).
I definitely learned a lot about designing a pattern. I will be honest, it was challenging to draft something off a picture when you have never sewn anything like it. I did two versions before I decided I could live with him. I wasn't completely satisfied with his face, but I didn't use a jersey knit as they did. I chose a more durable and less stretchy fabric, which made for a flatter face.
All in all, he is well loved.
His name? Frog. I just love how toddlers think. Practical.
Without further ado, here is Frog.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

...weekly loves...


I want to make these for my kitchen. Adorable. Then maybe I would actually print some photos. Maybe.
I love the look of this in an entry, as I have been unsuccessful at finding a pew. Craigslist stalking it is!
I have one blank wall in Gianna's room and I might try to make this fellow.

I have a really hard time finding dresses that I like. We have a Baptism coming up and I was trying to find something. This one seems super cute (with the belt). Nursing compatible dresses are so hard to find. I really should be looking for a pencil skirt.
Refreshing. I love smoothie weather, especially after a hard morning run.

Monday, April 20, 2015

...enjoy it...

Enjoy it! They grow up fast.
Enjoy this. You will miss it once they are gone.
Enjoy it. They are only young once.
I know. I know, I know, I know.
But it is hard, right? I didn't understand what that meant when people told me that after Gabe. I am sure I responded with a slight smile....while thinking maybe:..I am so tired...they have no idea what this is like...right...I am...I haven't slept or can you enjoy this?...when will they/I sleep again???? This list could go on, I am sure.
Ironically, I actually told one of my friends who just had a baby to just "enjoy it." I felt the words coming out and couldn't stop them. Great. I have become someone who tells you that your kids aren't bundled up enough or that you are letting them sleep to much ;).
I have this serious problem with just being. I am constantly doing 3,002 things at once and I am not always sure why. I like to feel productive. I like ending the day and reflecting on those crossed off item from my to do list.
I have been working on trying to slow those precious times down. They are far and few between with Gabe is he is at the busy stage. Sometimes, I find myself starting to lay Gianna down for the night and stopping, only to pick her back up and smell her. Only to try to enjoy it just a bit more, because they are right. I am going to miss it. I am missing the minutes tick by only to realize that I am married. I have two kids. WHEN did that happen.
I love to take pictures to try to help me remember those moments. Sadly, much of my life isn't photogenic or capturable. Maybe, I don't have my camera with me. Maybe I am mid diaper change. Maybe I am tickling Gabriel.
I am slowly learning how to just enjoy it. Maybe the day won't be as productive as I originally thought, but that extra snuggle was worth it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

...entry inspiration...

Our entry is probably the most neglected area of the house. We plan on redoing the tile this summer so that it matches the dining and kitchen. Here are a few images that I am using for inspiration:

I love that sign. The price tag is ridiculous, however, so I am going to attempt to make one.
I have been searching for a pew for months now. I may need to use something else. I do love the simplicity of it.
I picked up two shipping crates this week and can't wait to have plants in them!
I also found a antique welcome sign that might go on the wall as well.
We will be updating the balusters and the handrails as they are currently white and not conducive to little toddler hands ;)
More to come!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


gianna...7months...She is really enjoying objects. I love how the simplest things can be toys. She is cutting at least three teeth right now. She got up on all fours this week. She has almost mastered sitting (without falling). She sat up for the first time this week. Swinging might be a new hobby of hers!
gabe...2yo...My little man. Sentences and words! We read a book about worms the other day and he helped me weed this morning in the flower bed. Oh, he was excited to see the worms. I gave him a haircut this week and accidently used the wrong guard. It is shorter than usual, but I love it!
... little red wagon...

Yesterday, I found an adorable little red wagon at the antique mall. Months ago, I stumbled upon a picture of a little boy's room that used a wagon at the foot of the bed to hold books. We have no shortage of books in this house, so I was hoping to one day find a bargain.
I have a hard time making an impulse purchase, so we went home without it yesterday. So, we made the trek back today as decided that I really wanted it for his room. He was such a little gentleman again today. There were two little ladies that were swooning over him and he was enjoying every second of it.
I got an incredible deal on this wagon and told him that we could take it home. His entire face lit up. He carefully wheeled it through the warehouse with the biggest grin on his face. He gently carried it down the step and watched me load it into the car. He really enjoyed moving his crayons and carrying tiger before taking it upstairs. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Our mornings are relatively relaxed and consistent. Both kids go to sleep somewhere between 7 and 730. They are typically both up for the morning by 7.
Gabe usually starts calling me "MOM!MOM!MOM!MOM!" until I open the door and (for some reason) tell him he can get down. He then runs to our bedroom to look for Steve. Steve has been out the door by 530-6 the last few mornings. He loves to pick out his clothes. Fortunately, his love of his red polish eagle shirt is diminishing and he has a broader interest. Gianna usually talks on the den floor while I get Gabe breakfast and inhale a cup of coffee.
I try and do the daily readings as soon as Gabe is done eating. We were up pretty early yesterday and the sun was just breathtaking coming over the trees. Gabe agreed to a photo, but just one. Fortunately, Gianna can't have an opinion yet ;).

We decided to go to a few antique stores yesterday and today. I was a bit hesitant as taking a toddler to an antique shop sounds like a disaster. However, he was fantastic. Yesterday, he just rode in the stroller. Today, he asked if he could walk and agreed to not touch anything. We had so much fun combing through the different vender booths and talking about treasures.

I have a few items in mind and found one to cross of my list today! Well..two, but the second wasn't on the list. There were a few more shops in the sleepy town we drove to, but we were nearing lunch time. I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 with me...

I take pictures. Lots of pictures.
However, I am hardly in any of them. That is just life, isn't it. I have so many fond memories of looking at the large box of photos my parents had in the bedroom closet. We would spend hours as kids just pouring over the photos.
Pictures of us, pets, our relatives. Pictures marking special occasions. Pictures of gorgeous Montana sunsets.
I need to be better about being in pictures. I need to pass the camera off so that I can remember these moments with my children.
These were taken over four months ago. It was a Sunday afternoon and I handed the camera to Steve and asked for a few.


This is a favorite of mine from when Gabe was just a few hours old.

Monday, April 13, 2015

...smores from the weekend...

We had the most gorgeous weather this weekend. Fortunately, we were able to get some much needed yard work done. Many of the plants/flower beds have been neglected for a few years prior to us moving here. We have quite a bit to do to catch  up...but every little bit counts.
We raked, weeded, laid tarp and rock, pulled out a tree, worked on building a bridge, sat in front of a fire and enjoyed the weather. We were tired last night, but the good tired.
Once again...I sadly have only a few cell phone pictures! I really struggle with making sure I try to enjoy the moment. This weekend, my camera sat in the house.

Gabe had his first smore over Easter (in Montana) and loved it! I can't blame him. Goodness. We had quite a bit of sticks and wood to burn yesterday, so he was pretty excited when we said we could roast marshmallows. Steve and he went to find sticks for the marshmallows. Gabe came back with a 12 foot curved tree limb. He was so proud. After we made him a marshmallow, he grabbed a limb that was about 1" in diameter and asked to do it himself. Love this kid.
Loving her new hat!
We told him to pick a marshmallow stick.
His second choice for a marshmallow stick. Close.


Friday, April 10, 2015


gabe...2.5. Our neighbor found this incredible dump truck at an estate sale. He has found countless uses for it already! He thinks all bugs are butterflies. He surprised me with a "Here you go, mom!" this week.
gianna...She is quite proud of her upright status. She will still topple over, but it getting quite adept. She is really trying to grab objects out of reach and I can't wait for the movement stage!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

...A Mom's guide to flying solo with two kids under two...


Hours after booking the tickets, I started to stress about the logistics of flying solo with two kids two and under. Gabe is two and a half and Gianna is 7 months. I scoured the internet for practical tips and advice and didn't really find much other than screen time (which we don't really do). Gabe has flown quite a bit for a two year old and we had a system that worked really well. Every trip to Montana is at least two flights of 2+ hours. We tried to take advantage of him flying free for the first two years. This was Gianna's first flight.  Here is a list of what I found useful:

  1.  Baby wear. I love my Ergo. Love. This is probably the biggest piece of advice I could give anyone. This gives you two hands for your other child and allows for *hopefully* easy plane boarding.
  2. Footed pajamas for non-walkers. I have found dark colors to be preferable as I don't really want to see how dirty my non-walkers are while rolling around on the filthy airport carpet.
  3. Snacks. I like snacks that take a while to consume. A ziploc baggie of pretzels, kix, fruit snacks etc. I try to do low sugar...but let's be are trapped in a echoing plane for a few hours. 
  4. A tote and a diaper bag. I carry a small bag for a diaper bag. I needed more space for snacks, extra diapers/clothing etc. So, I kept my diaper changing accessories in the diaper bag and carried that inside of a canvas tote with a shoulder strap. I had all of the food and toys in the tote. Once we were on the plane, I put the tote under the front of my son's seat and the diaper bag under mine. This way, I could minimize digging.
  5. A very thin swaddle/blanket. I laid it on top of my jacket, on the floor for my daughter to lay on. I used it as a light blanket while she napped. It could be used as a nursing cover and takes up little space.
  6. Fly early. Kids are happier and more composed for that 6AM flight.
  7. Fly minimally. I had a diaper bag/tote combo (more on that in a bit). I checked a suitcase. I didn't want to have to worry about anything other than my child. We borrowed car seats once we landed, but otherwise I would check those too. I break into a sweat thinking about trying to get a car seat attached to an airplane seat while a screaming baby strapped to my chest while my toddler is pressing buttons. Ack.
  8. Ziplock bag a fresh set of clothing for any baby. Hopefully you won't need it. As luck would have it, Gianna had a blowout on the way to the airport. I placed the soiled clothing in the sealed bag. No smell, no worries. 
  9. Zip lock bags for each type of snacks. I like self containing messes. I would pull out a baggie when Gabe started to get restless. We would place the wrappers in the bag once they were eaten and the bags make AWESOME toys for a baby. Yes, I gave my baby a plastic bag to play with. I have done suckers for talk off before (or nursed), but have found that it doesn't really bother my children. I really like to take some Horizon Milk as they are small and the container makes for a great toy.
  10. Zip lock bag a few new toys. I did the wrapping paper a few times....Gabe didn't care. I have had luck with: transformers, matchbox cars, silly putty, crayons, Etch A Sketch, a new board book, a mini tablet to color on. I could place the wrappers in the zip lock baggies to contain our trash.
  11. A BIG SMILE! I promised myself I would remain cheerful to those around me as I know people often hate seeing you walk down the aisle, muttering "please don't sit next to me."
  12. Exercise for your toddler. I read lots of posts where people said to not let your toddler walk places and to use a stroller. That would not have worked for us. I wanted to get rid of some energy. We walked all through the terminals. Constantly. About fifteen minutes before boarding, I had him play a game of running to something, touching it (like 20 feet away), and coming back to give me five. Simple.
  13. Brightly colored clothing. I will be honest, my biggest fear was losing him. I had intended to take a leash, but forgot it. He had to hold my hand anytime we were walking. 
  14. Realize that your schedule will be off (HARD FOR ME!) and just adapt. Let your kids nap when they can, even if it is 730 AM. 
  15. Board last. I know they always call you to board first....but the more time you can minimize sitting still, the better. The first few minutes might be spent shredding the boarding pass, watching out the window, etc. I would just prefer we were in the air for that. 
It honestly went much better than I had envisioned. There was maybe 15-20 minutes (over an 10 hour travel day) of me wanting to disappear. All told, kids are pretty adaptable. Maybe this will help!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

...the week off...

We are back. 

It was a fantastic week in Montana. We are still jet lagged (landed yesterday) and suffering from missing family, but otherwise doing well.

I didn't take my camera, which was really hard for me!! So....a few cell pictures will have to suffice for my recap.

Gabe, Gianna, and I traveled up to Freeland to stay with our friends for the weekend of Palm Sunday. I went early in the morning with the intent of having them adjust to sleeping at a different house during nap time (WHICH HAS ALWAYS WORKED!!!). Epic disaster. Steve arrived that evening , after work and it was quite frankly the worst night with the kids (in terms of sleep). Gabe was literally up every thirty minutes all night long. I Held Gianna until three. Needless to say, we were tired. Very tired. 

We spent Saturday at Grandma/Grandpa's making packzi (a family tradition) for Easter. Steve and I were able to sneak in a non-stroller run, which was glorious. I snuck in a newborn photo shoot and an engagement shoot over the weekend as well.

We went to Mass at our old Parish for the first time since I was newly pregnant with Gianna. It was nice to see everyone again. We then made the drive home to get ready for our trip the next day.

I intend to write a post on traveling solo with two little kids, as I found nothing that really was useful online. Maybe tomorrow. I have a house that is in dire need of some attention.

Steve drove us to the airport at about 6AM. Our flight took off at 830 and we would eventually land in Montana at 1PM. We honestly had a great trip out. The kids did really well, aside from about ten minutes were I was rethinking my existence as a parent and having heart palpitations. 

There is probably a rule somewhere that forbids cell phone pictures on a blog...oh well.
Waiting for Flight #1.

Really exciting! 

Crashing for 20 minutes on Flight #1.
Celebrating surviving #1 with an ice cream cone.

Crashing on Flight #2. 
 The first three days were a bit of a blur, adjusting to the time change and I really couldn't wait until Steve arrived. The kids played and Gabe learned to talk quite a bit. It was a much needed reprieve from the last few months. I was able to see quite a few friends while staying at my sister's house.

Enjoying the first day snowed the next morning.

Playing with cousin 4 of 5.
Steve arrived Thursday night, after the kids were in bed. My parents arrived Friday afternoon and stayed through Sunday night. We talked, laughed, hugged, cried.....played catch with the kids, took them for runs (they biked), made obstacle courses, ate great food. 

It was really great to be home over a holiday as I had forgotten how much I missed cooking with my family. On Easter Sunday, we (4 parents) managed to get 7 kids, under 8 ready for a 730 AM Mass, which felt monumental. 

Friends arrived around 2 and we ate around 3PM. They time flew by and the kids were to bed by 630 as we had to leave at 430 AM.We stayed up talking to my sister/brother in law until midnight. It is funny how that always happens. The best conversations happen late at night.

The flight back was uneventful and we are slowly adjusting ( is 2PM and I am still in my pajamas).

I am off to go reclaim some territory in my house.