Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving recap.

I have a lot of guilt because we did not see a single friend. It was a whirlwind. In on the red eye. Dallas the next day. Turkey day full of thanks. Recovery. Kate's baptism. Just not enough time. I will be making a more relaxing trip soon to my beloved Texas and spend quality time with all of those that we hold so dear.
Hope your turkey day was fantastic.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Regardless of what the news says, or what is going on with the economy and the future outlook of our country or how much longer we are going to feel the effects of the recession that is said to be gone, on this day I am thankful.

We have been blessed this year in ways that many have not. We have faced challenges this year that I hope no one ever has to face. Challenges that I would rather not talk about with the blog world or even some of my dearest friends, but challenges that have made us better, stronger people.

Today I am thankful for Ralph, Gia, Mom, Dad, Eddie, Jenna, and Kate. For the chance to celebrate together in the lovely Dallas and spend time that will provide us years of memories.

Today I am thankful for turkey and my dads stuffing. Really, I am thankful for the comfort of a holiday meal that is prepared like my memory serves me. There is something so special about the way that YOUR family did it. And while I love the fact that Ralph and I are starting our own traditions with bits from his, bits from mine and those that we just want to have, there is something so dear about what I grew up with. When it was my mom, my dad, Eddie and me. Joined by our wonderful extended family. Hours of gin rummy, parade watching and of course....Miracle on 34th Street.

Today I am thankful for Miracle on 34th Street. Natalie Wood, you have provided years of entertainment for my mother and I. I am looking forward to the years of entertainment that you will provide for Gia and I and then for Gia and her little ones to come in the future. There is nothing like, "Yes, we would LOVE to have Santa Claus come and stay with us." And the hours of laughter that comes with that. I honestly don't know if I have actually watched it in years. But the time that is spent with my mom on the couch with it in the background is something that no one can ever rival. Some of the most joyous, difficult, happy and sad times have been with this movie and I can not even imagine Thanksgiving or Christmas without this gem of cinematic perfection.

Today I am thankful for running. It is still an ever learning process and something that I am growing in and becoming better at every day. You have provided me with endless therapy, release, calm and enjoyment. For every mile logged, I am infinately better to my loved ones. And for that, I am sure that they are thankful too.

Most of all, I am thankful for God. I am not the best servant, but I try. I have Faith, but it waivers. Each day, I grow into what YOU want me to become. Each day I try to serve You and sin tremendously. Each day, I am thankful for all of the blessings in my life and all of the wonderful things that you have bestowed on me.

May your celebration be filled with lots of butter and lots of thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Overprotective parenting?

I grew up relatively sheltered. My parents let me roam, but on a VERY short leash. And I was a child that needed that. I would have tried everything that there was to try, pushed every boundary that could be pushed and would certainly not have been the same person I am today if they had not kept me on that short leash.

With that being said, and at the risk of sounding super old, I grew up in a very different time. I rode my bike around Hearthstone with my friends like we owned the place. I played for hours until it was dark with little or no supervision. There was a network of parents that watched out for each and everyone of us and we each thought we were unsupervised by our own parental units.

In todays world, with longer work hours, more nomadic families (like us, the Three T's), more suspicion, more bad media reports and really, more parents that just don't care giving your child even a short leash is really hard.

While only Amy had parents more strict than mine, most of the parents had similar philosophies and wanted similar things for their kids. Even now that we are all grown and well into making our lives we still have similar stories that we tell about our own children.

Gia has just passed the three year marker and I am already worried about how I am going to give her the necessary freedom when the time comes. I am not an overbearing parent. Just ask many that surround me in my parenting efforts. I let her fall and I do not respond until after the fact. She roams in eye sight and when at parks with fencing. And for now, that is plenty of a leash.

These are not the things I am worried about. Will kids of today, my kids have the ability to ride a bike to a friends house, play at the pool for hours supervised only by the lifeguards, walk to Stop 'n Go (which I was never allowed to do) or even walk down Creek Crest to El Miranda to see if Holly wants to Rollerblade?

What is the balance. With fourteen year old boys stuffing four year olds in dryers and the Jacy Dugard's of the world, how do you allow your child to find their independence without being an irresponsible parent? I do not have to face these dilemmas for a few years, but they already weigh on my mind.

I love my kid and want nothing but the best for her. So, any suggestions for raising a self sufficient child while keeping them safe?

Davis turkey trot.

Well, Saturday marked Gia's first "competitive" event. She had a blast. We arrived in a whirlwind (which I think is just part of being the mom of a tot) and grabbed her bib number and t shirt and raced off to the starting line.

This "race" was so well organized I was really in shock. And the number of participants just warmed my heart. The 5k and 10k's had been early in the morning so many of the parents running with their kids had already done their race. It was such fun to see so many parents passing on their love of the pavement to the little tykes.
Gia did have a spill mid race. But like a true champion she picked her self up and just kept going. She kept saying, "See mommy, I just like you." Now, I have not fallen in a race, but I do just keep going. I have to say that certainly was a heart swelling moment.
When she crossed the finish line there were ribbons. Which I was a little bummed about. I thought they were giving "medals". I would have happily paid five dollars more for a plastic medal for Miss Thing. The disappointment quickly left when she realized there was free chocolate milk, Greek yogurt and face painting galore.

Don't you remember the orange slice smile from soccer when you were a kid? I just thought it was too sweet. All in all, it was a great time. She has talked about it non stop. I am keeping my eyes peeled for more family events like this. I think all kids should at least be exposed to the joy of activity and healthy competition.

{Super proud mom and dad}

{At the finish line}

And in case you were wondering, yes we are THOSE parents. Not only was I shooting pictures of her the entire time, RT had the video camera. Oh well, at least her early years are well documented.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Off and running.

I just registered Gia for her first race. On November 21, 2009 at 11:45am she will be participating in a two hundred yard dash at the Davis Turkey Trot. I can not wait to see how excited she is about her own bib, goody bag, medal and T shirt. She always steals mine.

I will be sure to post all about it when it is said and done.

Who knows, this little monkey may just have the running bug. Lord knows she is better built for it then me!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gia's birthday extravaganza.

Last night, Gia and I decided to join Ralph on a business trip. He is leaving again in the morning and will not be home until late Friday and has to entertain a client on Saturday and Sunday so we won't be seeing much of him between now and when we leave for Thanksgiving (which I am super excited about).
We had dinner at our favorite Walnut Creek restaurant, Pomegranate and headed to the hotel for Ralph to finish working and for his girls to hit the hay early. Ralph was up and out super early and Gia started stirring not shortly after his departure.

We started the day with some relaxing followed by room service. It was such an exciting treat for Gia and I did not have to clean it up or cook it, so that was a great treat for me! The most exciting part? They put chocolate milk in a Starbuck's cup and the Monkey thought she was pretty hot stuff drinking her coffee.

{Relaxing Girls}

{Room Service}

We then got dressed and headed to a local park. It was about three miles away so it gave us a nice walk and we just enjoyed this amazing fall day. When we arrived at the park, there were no kids in sight. No less than ten minutes later ten to fifteen kids arrived. Gia kept saying, "Mommy, thank you for the birthday kids!?!?!" She thought they had all come for her. We ended up staying for nearly two hours and she had a blast. It was like an impromptu birthday party. Which provided me with some relaxing time. A complete win win situation.
{The sweet birthday girl}
{The really awesome park}
We came home and Ralph had to do some work and he had a very special helper. We then decided to go out to dinner. Where you would have thought we had not been feeding this child all day long. She put away so much food it was hard to believe.

{Proud parents of a darling girl}
{Happy Birthday Baby Girl!}

We did not even give Gia her presents today. I know, we sound like horrible parents. But we had so many generous things from her birthday party and such a full day that we did not get around to it. I am really thinking about saving them for Christmas because I do not think that she even knows that she is supposed to get presents and she has so much stuff that I really don't think she would notice all of what we would give her.

The three best years.

Each birthday comes with a sense of joy and a sense of sadness. I do not think that sadness is the correct word, but I am really having difficulty coming up with another word.

So many moments of childhood are fleeting. Never again will Gia need for me to do absolutely everything for her. Nor will she only have eyes for me. I am fortunate to have an incredible relationship with my mom and I know that the moments become not necessarily better, but different.

There is a part of me that wants to go back and just hold that precious, no neck control baby again. I have never been a, "I can't wait until she can...." mom and I am so thankful for that. I have done a very good job of cherishing every moment and trying to etch it in stone in my brain. (Granted, the whole temper tantrum every forty five minutes is making the cherish part a little more difficult.)

These are the days. These are the days that I will tell her little ones about one day. Honestly, I do not know why God chose me to be the mother of this amazing little girl, but I am eternally thankful.

Gia is the light of our lives. She brings joy to all around her. Thank you Gia and thank you to those that are involved in watching our little girl grow.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl~

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tea sets, tea sets, tea sets galore.

As I mentioned earlier, Gia loves tea. And we were blessed with Gia's Aunt Mary giving her an awesome plastic tea set. But they can be VERY hard to find. I was searching around for some alternatives and Pottery Barn Kids has a great set. You can order it here.Not only is it super cute, but it is green. It's made from recycled milk jugs. It has no BPA or phthalates so no need to worry about all the hoop la about those things.

When I was little, I had a collection of tea sets that my mom and grandma gave me over the years. My mom still has them and I cherish those memories so fondly. I think I may have to start Gia's own tea set collection. Some plastic and some china.

Happy tea time!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Clean out your fridge day.

There is some discrepancy over which day it is (some sources say it is the third Wednesday of the month, some say 11.14, some say 11.15 and I have read even further reports of 11.20) but regardless, I am going to take note and take on the daunting, dirty deed. I try to do it once a month, but I am always amazed at how quickly it needs to be done.

I don't know about you, but just the entire process of taking EVERYTHING out of the fridge. I think I this piece of advice from Trading Spaces and all of my other HGTV watching. Regardless of what you are doing IF you take everything out you have a higher likelihood of being successful.

Then trash anything that is old, gross or that your family just plain refuses to eat. Now, you should be left with just food that it not expired and stuff you and yours want to consume....and hopefully over the next few days.

SPRAY THAT BAD BOY DOWN. I am a big fan of Mrs. Meyer's geranium counter top spray. It SMELLS divine. Go quick and order some here. Wipe it down scrub anything that is crusted on and just scrub, scrub, scrub. Often, I stick the drawers in the dishwasher just to get them completely clean. Once dry, I put them back in.

Now, for my friends that ROYGBIV your closets, this is where I need help. Organizing the food contents comes next. I try to place them in the same category in which I make my shopping list. Dairy, Meat, Grocery, Veggies, Fruit, Condiments.

I like to place a fresh box of good ole Arm and Hammer in there until the next clean out.

So, happy clean out your fridge day. Yeah, seriously.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I have a little girl that wants these.

and there may be a big girl and a big boy that want them too. Now, if either the big boy or big girl had ANY artistic talent, that would help.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I just read a study from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and you know what it said? BEING MARRIED ADDS SEVEN HOURS OF HOUSEWORK FOR WOMEN A WEEK.

SERIOUSLY!?!?!? And men, not much of a change.

Go figure.

Love my husband and the benefits outweigh the housework, but such a bummer. Such. a. bummer.

I've got to go clean house now.

Thank you to those who have selflessly served.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A little faith.

Do you ever struggle with your faith? I mean, I know that God is up there looking out for me and has my seasons planned out. There are seasons of planting, growing, harvesting and enjoying, but sometimes it just gets frustrating.

I have been doing my best to have faith day in and day out for a while now, and it appears as if God has answered my prayers. It is not set in stone yet, but I have faith it will be.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

A little about me.

My friend Amanada did this, and who doesn't like to talk about themselves?

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while your blogging? I don't snack while blogging.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?My family.

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice? All three...Marin County, CA

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty? Putting away dishes...I loathe it.

5. Who do people say you remind them of? I have no idea...I would love comments to see what people have to say!

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam? We do so much socializing that I adore nights home with my little family. If Mimi and Popa are in town, it is the perfect mix.

7. What's your all time favorite movie? Miracle on 34th Street. There are so many memories with my mom and I watching this and I can not wait to get G in on the, "Yes we would LOVE to have Santa Claus come and stay with us action"

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?Never. I am the most rule following girl when it comes to skin girl, which really makes me mad because all of my good friends do nothing to their skin and have porcelain skin.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it? I want to sail around the greek isles. I will settle for the SF bay.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at? Scrubbing bathrooms.

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?He has charisma that no one can deny.

12. What is something you love to smell? RT and GT and a clean house.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people. Blogging bugs RT.

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?Go shopping.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest? Not only am I a loud laugher, but I cackle. With my mom. Outrageous, people pointing and staring cackling. It is better than crying or being sullen.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop? JCrew and Bloomingdales. and Neiman Marcus.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time? Sit by myself. Alone. See previous post.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal? In my relationship? Frugal. But it really is a matter of perspective.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time? I have no idea.

20. Would you want to be famous? If I could find the right balance and have the perks, sure I would be famous, but all in all most famous people seem wildly unhappy. I would much rather be happy and little ole me.

What are some or all of your answers?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The no cry sleep solution.

Well, we have had so many issues with Gia and her sleep issues that I have spent many hours wondering JUST what to do. So much so, that I have PLEADED with sleep itself to just let me know what I can do. See this.

Well tonight, my fine husband MAY have found the solution. We had bought Gia some of those Glow Sticks for Halloween, but never got around to using them. Ralph and Miss Thing went on a date while I cleaned (yes, you read that right...they had a date and I cleaned house. And yet, I somehow feel like I was the one given the big exciting day....that is an entire other story) and when they got home, Ralph gave her the Glow Stick.
We had our normal bed time routine. Bath, books, cuggles. Then the NORMAL routine is then followed by ridiculous amounts of screaming beyond belief. Well, tonight there was none of that. There was some sweet whispering to Ghloe (Gia's beloved Glo Worm) and lots of book reading to Elmo. When we went in to see how the room was left in tact, this is what we found.....Sleeping soundly with the Glo Stick close by. Now, the question an extra thirty bucks a month worth good sleep? Right now, I am thinking the answer is yes!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tea time.

Gia and I have started a new ritual. We are having tea parties for breakfast. (Shhh, don't tell Gia, but mommy is secretly drinking Cafe Bustelo out of the big white cup but don't tell...)

It is something that I think we will be continuing for a long time to come. Neither Gia, Ralph, nor I are morning people. Nothing is more fantastic than having a lazy, non rushed morning to get your bearings and enjoy the ones you love in jammies.

One of the major benefits of my current job is that this is possible.

I brew G a caffeine free, herbal, fruity tea that she enjoys with some kind of breakfast treat. Gia's Aunt Mary gave her this fantastic plastic tea set that she adores. She pours her tea, sips it like a lady and takes small bites of her tasty treats. We read books and just spend time together.

If you have a little girl, I suggest you try it. It really is no different than regular breakfast, just the dishes that you use and they feel so special.

Got to run, it's TEA TIME!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Favorite photo for Mama Holli.

I used to babysit for the Mama creator of this fantastic blog. And Mama Holli is asking for your favorite photograph. Well, how about my favorite, most recent photograph of my little girl?!?! Otherwise, it is just to hard. So, Mama it is! My little monkey in all of her happy glory. She makes everything in life better. I just hope she knows it! Post your favorite photograph on your blog to share! Get the directions here.
BWS tips button

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin by day, spider by night.

Halloween has come and gone. And yet, I kind of feel like this was our first Halloween with a little one. Gia's first Halloween she was almost one. Last year, her darling cousin Jace had just made his debut so we did not get to focus on the festivities at hand.

Not only were all of those things different this year, but she was finally old enough to get it. We had so much fun and I don't think that she gets that now when you knock on someones door they do not give you candy. Nor, can you eat candy all day every day. But we are working on it.

Ralph and I both had some major work stuff that had to be tended to on Saturday, so we took G to KidsPark. She insisted on wearing her beloved pumpkin costume. Actually, this was Kate's costume, so it is over eight years old....looks pretty good. And, for a twelve month costume, it looks pretty cute on a three year old. That evening, we headed over to the zoo for Boo at the Zoo where Gia debuted her spider costume.
The spider costume has been around since last year when I was up in arms with Pottery Barn Kids and getting this crazy thing. I ended up with four and she did not wear it because we were in Fresno. Well, much to Gia's dismay she wore it this year.
She went from angry as a spider to thrilled when everyone doted on her and how precious she was. By the end of the night, she was giving hugs with eight arms. I was a lucky recipient.
After Boo at the Zoo, we went Trick o Treating in our neighborhood. Gia did not understand that she was not supposed to go in and have an evening of it. It is hard to tell if she enjoyed getting candy or giving candy more. Either way, Halloween was a hit.
Hope your spooky day was great as well!