Sunday, December 25, 2011


A Christmas miracle!
A photo of the 2 of my darlings (both smiling)!
Could these eyes be any prettier? Or bigger?

Aunt Tiffy!
Uncle Martin is so much fun!
Aunt Kim and Barry
Tiff and Parents with my love
My "cool" husband....still so cute!
New game!
My scooter bug!
The ladies love him!
Leo with Adelaide and Hazel
Play date with twin girls from Leo's preschool class

We had a really lovely Christmas. This was the first year that Leo was well aware of what Christmas is all about and he was just oozing of excitement and anticipation. Somerset had no idea what was going on, but she had fun as well.

On Christmas Eve, we got some Chinese take-out (I am trying to establish some tradition). It was great, although Leo declared that he did not like Chinese food. We also picked up a raspberry coffee cake from Beaverton Bakery for Christmas morning.

Christmas morning was CRAZY. Leo got a little out of hand with all the excitment. We were not really surprised, but an early nap sure did help.

The kids were showered with sooo many gifts from family and Santa of course. Angry birds, a play tent, a princess car, puzzles, musical instruments, a remote controlled dog, new clothes, books, stuffed animals, kid's learning/gaming system and tons of candy. Our children are truly blessed.

In the afternoon we hosted a Christmas dinner and exchanged gifts from our Secret Santa. This a family tradition as well. We all had a good time and it was so great just to relax and spend time with family.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Walking and Counting

New Hat!

With my crazy holiday work schedule, it has been difficult to post. I have been working much more than usual and much later as well. I am so tired and exhausted all the time, but the season is almost over and the extra money really helps the family.

Leo has been really interested in numbers and I promised him that we would take him to Mc Donalds if he could count to 100 unassisted. Sure enough, he took on this challenge with great zeal and counted to 100 last week. I was so impressed!!!

Somerset is walking so much now. Yesterday she made a major turn and started walking more than scooting or crawling. She still scoots, but she tries to walk a lot more now.She still has the Frankenstein walk, but it is the cutest!

The kids have been playing really well together. Leo loves to hold her hand and walk around with her. The other night he was pulling her around the house on a blanket. We were all laughing; I don't think I have ever been happier.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So much to be Thankful for!

Busted! Joe left Summy alone for a minute and look what she got into!
Thanksgiving was a pretty low-key event. It felt good to relax with the family. Uncle Aaron came to visit us for a few days from college, so we were all thrilled to see him, especially Leo. At night, we went to my parents house for turkey dinner and Somerset decided to debut her first steps there. Perfect timing! I guess she was just waiting for the perfect audience. Since then, she is slowly building her confidence and I have witnessed her take as many as 8 steps in a row.

Leo has been very interested in numbers and counting and he is trying to learn to count to 100. He is very close to doing it without assistance, so I bet that by the end of the week, he will reach his goal. Go Leo!!!

We decided to finally sleep train Somerset. The first night was difficult with her waking almost every hour, but luckily for me, Joe dealt with all her wake-ups. The next night she did great, no wake-ups, just an early morning wake-up (5:45 a.m.). Last night, she only woke up once and went back to sleep easily. I am so relieved that we have decided to start getting more sleep.

Tonight we visited Santa at our mall, and the kids looked so cute. I really wanted that perfect Christmas photo, but Somerset freaked out when we put her on Santa's lap. We may try again soon, but this time Joe and I will jump in the photo to help our precious girl out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

New outfit....cute guy!
Crazy hat lady!
My 2 favorite guys!!!
Somerset LOVES drawing.
Our blanket fort.
It stayed up all weekend.
Almost walking!

Joe turned 35 on a very special day, 11-11-11. He took the day off and we had some quality family time. Joe did what he wanted to, which included much needed napping and a trip to a local burger joint. We planned to go out and have some fun with a few of Joe's friends at night, but babysitting plans fell through, so Joe went alone. I tried to make the most of my night, so I built a blanket fort with Leo. Joe received some $ for his b-day and plans to add to his sneaker collection. I also bought him a new outfit and had the kids make his framed art using their hand prints.

Somerset is sooooo close to walking. She cruisers confidently and can pull herself into a standing position without the aid of furniture. She can also stand for up to a minute without sitting, so I am sure she will be walking very soon.

She is down to one nap a day and I am also trying to ween her. I remove a feeding here and there, but the next big step will be to stop the night time feedings. Yikes!!!

I started a class with Somerset called Tots and Tunes, which features singing, instruments and general play with kids ages 12-18 months. We had so much fun!!! Leo was always a challenge in these settings because he was into mischief, but she was super engaged in the class and loving every minute of it.

She has recently become obsessed with books. She often comes to me or Joe with a book and requests for us to read it. Her attention span is quite short, but I love that she has so much interest in books. She also pretends to read books on her own, which really surprised me and Joe.

Leo loves playing a game in which we pretend like we are animals. We are dogs, beavers, foxes or mice. I am always the mommy and Leo and Somerset are the babies. Daddy is usually the pet owner. He gives us names too. He has been Coconut Pie, Zumba or Mickey. Somerset is almost always Zoey and I am Skateboard Ice Cream. He likes to play this game in my bed and burrow under the covers to sleep and then wake up for snacks. It is amongst the cutest thing he does.

He has also become so much better behaved. The last 6 months have brought about a dramatically more mature Leo. He is so much more reasonable and Joe and I love it!

He is also getting a more refined sense of humor. The other day, when I was cuddling him for a nap, I accidentally said, "I love you Summer." He responded with, "I love you Daddy," with a gleam in his eye. He then said, "Daddy, can I play with your phone?" knowing darn well that I don't have a phone for him to play with. He was clearly teasing me and it was so much fun.

Leo is also really interested in numbers. He is always asking what number combos are called, Mommy, what's and eight and a seven?" I think he will have 1-100 down soon enough.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


My little Spiderman and lady bug had a great Halloween. Our little Summy was sick leading up to Halloween, so she missed the trick or treating, but she was able to greet the the trick or treaters with Joe.

The day before, we took the kids to Bridgeport Plaza (an outdoor mall), where they went from store to store gathering candy. The treats were great and the kids had so much fun. Leo was able to practice using his good manners and we got even more candy (oh know!).

Halloween was fun! I got into the spirit by carving a kitty bat pumpkin and making orange, skull sugar cookies with Leo. I love these holiday themed activities. I also LOVED taking Leo around our neighborhood, which is small enough to hit up most of the houses. Leo loves collecting the candy and showing off. Since he is so outgoing, it is fun for him to meet new people as we cruise the neighborhood.

The candy has been a great incentive to get Leo to eat. If he eats all the content of his meals, breakfast excluded, he gets to choose a candy.

Now, I am getting excited about favorite holiday of them all!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My teenage son Leo

Joe's Angry Bird creation.
We all had a good laugh!
Yep, it's happened!
Gaining confidence and showing off her new Naartjie outfit.

I'll start by saying that the day I have dreaded has come: Leo has discovered video games. I knew this would happen someday, but not this early. He first discovered Angry Birds, a game he plays on Joe's i-Phone. Harmless enough. However, I thought that if he is so engaged, we should buy him his own educational gaming unit. Thus, the Leapster was purchased.

Leo loves his Leapster, although both the i-Phone and Leapster can be a source of frustration and annoyance (Leo gets frustrated if he can't reach a certain level and we get annoyed with his subsequent whining) . It is a great tool for keeping him occupied in boring situations such as long car rides, appointments etc. Leo is exceptionally good at these games and as far as I see it, this is the way kids will learn in the future. The kids will probably learn far more from computers than books and it's good for him to be technologically proficient. I just want him to get too lost in his own gaming world.

Somerset is close to walking. She cruises with ease, so I predict that she will walk in about a month. I am a bit tired of people asking if she is walking yet. I know they mean well, but it is just a constant reminder that she's not.

Her fine motor skills are exceptional. She can feed herself, she claps, drums, draws and points all the time. She is much more precise with movement that Leo was at this age. She also loves music and sings when her favorite songs are playing. Her favorite song is LMFAO's Party Anthem:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Leo took home the cutest, most perfect little pumpkin

Mommy and Leo - Self Portrait
My baby girl
Leo went head first on accident, but just went with it and had even more fun!

Summy's favorite part: the wagon ride!
Somerset is great at pulling herself up nowFamily Portrait, kind of
Another thrift store find

Joe bought these and then sold them for a huge profit

I love fall and I love going to the pumpkin patch. For the past 4 years, we have been going to the same local patch and we always have fun. The biggest surprise for us was how much fun Somerset had. In fact, she has more fun than any of us. The patch added a few new features and Leo was able to road test the new hay slide. He had a blast.

I continue home improvement projects. I really just mess around with decor, but I find it so satifying. I love to find a bargain at a thrift store, even if it requires a coat of paint. I love my little owl I found. He was pretty tacky before, but I could tell that a coat of white paint could transform him. Everyone in the family loves him too.

Joe was lucky enough to be able to purchase some super limited shoes off the internet. He bought them and sold them within a few hours for a HUGE profit. We were able to take the profit and buy a storage ottoman/coffee table (thanks honey), and he is using the rest for a few new pairs of shoes.

So, Somerset can crawl. We caught her in the act the other day when she was stuck between the couch and the ottoman. Joe and I think it is hilarious that she has made the choice to scoot around instead. She is also very proficient at pulling herself up and standing for extended periods of time. I think she will probably walk in a month or 2 because she is now so good at cruising.

She has been super grumpy. We hope that teething is the reason, but no new teeth have appeared. She is also at the age where she knows what she wants and is quite strong willed, but doesn't know how to communicate through words her exact needs to us. Poor thing! I wish I could read her mind.

She still remains the center of attention when we go out. All the checkers at our local grocery store know and love Somerset.

Leo is also very popular. When I went to pick him up from preschool the other day, the mother of twin girls said how much her girls love Leo and then when the kids were called out, one of the girls was trying to kiss him. Today, the same girls were trying to hug him. He said, "no thanks." Leo's preschool teacher, Mrs. Kepner says that all the kids like playing with Leo.