Saturday, October 31, 2015

...Gianna's first year recap...

Just a bit late with this one.

 Miss Gianna. 1 year old.

Likes: ME. Her boys and her puppy. She loves to clap and dance. Moving. All. The. Time. Eating anything and everything....dirt, rocks, leaves, paper, food. She has just started to appreciate books. She loves anything her brother has in his hands. Animals. Flirting. Playing in water and dirt.

Official Stats: 20 lbs. 31 in. She wears 2T month clothes consistently. 7 teeth (4 on top, 3 on bottom). ( the time of writing this..she has maybe 12??)

Says: Mumum. Daaada. Uh-oh. 

Sleep. She still likes her naps at 930 and 130. Her morning nap is about 1.5 hours and the afternoon one is closer to 2 hours. Nighttime is a consistent 7-7. She has been sleeping through the night since about 10 months.

Food. Loves it. All of it. She is very curious and will try anything.

Nicknames. Sweets, Squawky, Sis. 

You are my curious, bold, and alert daughter. Boy, do we love you. I can't describe how much you have added to our family. You are very inquisitive. We had to install a baby gate as you had the tenacity to scale anything. You are a solid walker now. You despised shoes (like your brother) for quite a while (until about 13 months). You went through a cuddly stage, which I really treasured. You still love sucking your thumb. Your eyes and smile light up a room. Love you, little lady.

Friday, October 30, 2015


gianna...1...You said peekaboo and hello (while pretending to talk on the phone) this week. I happened to look at your teeth yesterday....I think you have 12????? When did that happen? I love how you try to mimic your brother. You color with him, drive cars across the floor, and love to follow him everywhere.

gabe...3...You have been working with dad in the shed almost every night this week. You talk about him all day long and how you can't wait until he is home so you "can go to work. Build the table with my dad." You guys were playing catch with a golf ball in this picture. You opened a can of new playdoh this week and said, "it smells delicious." (Just like dad ;)). You called nanny this week and probably talked for a solid ten minutes, without letting her get a word in. You called your cousin and chatted with her and I loved listening to you to jabber.

...Apple Barn...

After Mass today, we went to a local family run Apple barn. It was a blustery morning (40s), but Gabe's excitement for riding the tractor kept us going. 

They divided the people into four groups. As luck would have it, we were the LAST group to ride the beloved tractor. He was a trouper, however. We spent the morning there, playing in the corn box (in stead of sand), learning about the cider process, and enjoying fresh cider/donuts. When our turn finally arrived, he was one of the first in line. We road the wagon out to the orchard and were then allowed to fill our bags with gorgeously fresh Ida Red apples. 

He was so proud of his wares and chatted the whole way home about his beautiful apples and showing dad the tractor.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

...Liturgical Living | November...

Here is our November at a glance:

November 1
Solemnity of All Saints
Quietly pray with them before Mass and mention a few of our favorite Saint names.
I have heard great things about this book and this book, which might make great Easter gifts next year.
Food: My sister lives in Italy, and recommended these.

November 2
Feast of All Souls
Sing The Litany of Saints at bedtime. This is my favorite version and it takes me back to evenings spent at St. John Vianney's Seminary in Denver CO for their Vigil Praise.
Food: We might actually make the Fave dei Morti on this day.

November 21
Presentation of Blessed Virgin Mary
Another Holy Hero we don't currently own.
Read this book from our library.


Friday, October 23, 2015


gianna...1...Now a proud owner of three more teeth. You are a 100% walker. I love your little gait. Your stride is so powerful. You have been waking up quite early, and I think it is because you miss me. Love you.

Gabriel..."It is ok, Gianna. I keep you safe." You are such a great big brother. You used a steak knife for the first time this week. You were beaming with pride and asked every time, "this way??" I can't believe how much you can do for someone your age. You have started randomly coming up to me and kissing me. I love that.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

...Liturgical Living | Feast of Saint John Paul the Great...

I was really excited about trying to incorporate John Paul the Greats new Feast day into our daily life. I remember him growing up and his name conjures so many images and stories.We watched this cute youtube video.He is partially Gabriel's middle name namesake. This sweet little fellow is attached to his ceiling fan pull.
Again, my kids are pretty little, but I mentioned him a few times over the day. Gabe was particularly excited to make "cookies for his party." Close...I will take it. We made kolackies. I have never seen/tasted these treats, but we had fun making them! Gabe was naturally festive in his FAVORITE shirt...the Polish eagle. He rolled and filled his own with poppyseed filling and was proud :).

The Pope of the Youth. The people's Pope. He beatified the Saint our daughter was named after. I can only pray that my children aspire to be like this great man.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

...Liturgical Living | October...

I have been thinking about incorporating liturgical living (celebrating the Feast Days, lives of the Saints etc.) into our family culture. I am the type of person that tends to decide WE ARE DOING THIS AND WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING. This lends itself to being overwhelmed or burnt out while trying to do more than practical (or useful!) with two little kids. My goal was to have a list of days coming up, so when I am planning our weekly meals I have an idea of an associated food. If we have some down time, we can color a quick picture and talk about that Saint.

Neither of us grew up with this implemented into our family culture, so this is uncharted territory for both of us. Fortunately, the advent of the internet makes this a much more plausible endeavor, with countless resources at our fingertips.

So....realistically, I have decided to try to incorporate two days a month. I know our plans will change as our kids grow and are more capability with appropriate activities. For now (a three and one year old), we will try to focus on a book/story, or coloring an image, or making something in the kitchen that we can enjoy as a family, while talking about the life of someone to aspire to. We want to help cultivate virtues in our children and I think this is a practical and fun approach. 

I am a bit behind this Month, be decided it is better late than ever. I will be choosing a few saints a month that we have some sort of connection with, albeit, a namesake, a favorite.....So:


October 1
St. Therese of Liseux (the Little Flower, the Child of Jesus).
I have heard this Glory Story is great, but we don't have it.

October 2
Guardian Angels
Food: Angel hair pasta

October 22
Pope Saint John Paul II
Food: I am not a big fan of Polish food....we eat it quiiiite a few holidays a year...but thought we would try Kolacky cookies tomorrow.

October 31
I am not sure if we will do anything "special." Maybe make some Soul Cakes. We shall see.

...An afternoon at the park...

We found a new to us park, last night. Steve was home few minutes early and we loaded the kids in the car and headed there for our nightly run. After the run, the kids were quite content with the new equipment and sense of adventure. The sun was just dipping below the tree line, cutting their fun short, so I promised to take them today.
The fascinating part was to watch each of them push their boundaries and confront/attempt the unknowns or never-befores. Gabe was initially intimidated by the big tube slide. By the time we left the park, he no longer needed me to stand near the bottom. I was proud (and a touch sad....).
"It's ok Mom. I can do it."
I know I will hear that sentence a billion more times.
He conquered the boulder. The first day, he was quite concerned with his safety. He tackled it as soon as we got there, and was climbing with utmost confidence before long.
Gianna was particularly content with ingesting woodchips/dirt. However, she loved the slides and climbs up them with spiderlike instincts. She road the spring-toy and was beaming as Gabe clapped her on.


Saturday, October 17, 2015


gianna...1...She impressed me with her ability to drink out of a cup. She had a rough day: biting through her chin, falling into the tub...bruises galore this week. She donned her first pair of blue jeans (old ones of her brothers) this week.
gabe...3...He acquired a few bumps this week that didn't require my "magical" kisses. His response is always, "It's OK will feel better tomorrow." He has some of the best bed head! We had a PJ morning while devouring the fresh books from the library.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

...pumpkin farm...

We made a lunch time trip to a local pumpkin farm with some friends. This was our first time to the farm, and I know it will become a regular occurrence. Not only do they have the fresh cider, donuts, pumpkins etc....but they had a petting farm and a straw stack for the kids to play on.

Gabe was so excited to see the horses. He was particularly fond of the mini and the one that was "kind of like Kimber (nanny's horse)." Gianna was equally enamored with all of the animals and {shocking} was pretty fearless.

We did come home with one donut to share, and a pumpkin (for Liesel ;))

The straw bales were quite fun. I was surprised how bold Gabe was navigating through the tunnels. He was too busy for pictures. She was impressively adventurous and spent the hour climbing up and down the bales. It was also our first successful venture wearing shoes!!!