Archive for the ‘vacations’ Category

We spent 4 days in EDH ringing in the new year and I did not take one single picture. This is all I have and was sent to me by Larry 🙂 We spent time with cousins, played with the boy across the street, visited with family, then woke up New Year’s Day and headed to Santa Rosa to stay with Nana’s cousin Marte.


Beckett attended Boost, an intensive therapy conductive education clinic for 5 days while I searched out all of Santa Rosa and the surrounding cities for things to do to entertain three little monkeys for 4 hours each morning. Not that I’m complaining. We had a great time and Santa Rosa is a pretty awesome place ti kill 5 days. Our first morning, we headed to the Children’s Museum. And for what I lacked in photos in EDH, I more than made up for here. This place is seriously the coolest! I took Addie and a barely 1-year-old Coen here with Beckett did his first Boost in 2015. I lost Coen for most of the day. He was so busy running from one activity to the next and I was busy chasing Holden around. Addie was my amazing helper as usual balancing her own enjoyment with keeping tabs on the brothers.


Day 2, we went to the outlet mall in Petaluma to this play place filled with candy land-looking climbing structures, bounce houses, and slides. I want this entire place in my next house. It was amazing and again, the kids ran around basically unattended for nearly 3 hours. I didn’t even have to worry about Holden getting lost of trampled. It was perfect. I wish I had brought a book or something because facebooking for 3 hours was pretty unproductive!


Day 3, back to the outlet mall, this time to check out a gymnastics place. I think it was called Adventure Recreation Center or something, but basically it was a huge warehouse space with gymnastics equipment. Trampolines, bars, a ninja course, tightrope. There was a tots area, but Holden quickly lost interest and followed his sibs around the big floor for 3 hours. This day, I brought my computer and got  little work done.


Day 4 was a little more of a struggle. Beckett’s camp started at 9 every day but most places didn’t open until 10. I could usually kill that hour at Starbucks or Target (I somehow needed to go 3 times in the 5 days we were there??) but by day 4, I was out of reasons. We ended up strolling through Petsmart before popping in to a giant toy store with a small play area where we spent about 45 minutes before heading over to a party place holding an open play session that started at 11. It was pretty small but the kids played for a solid 2 hours before it was time to pick Beckett & Jimmy up. They had a giant inflatable slide, a bounce house, an inflatable obstacle course, and a climbing structure. All were a little too much for Holden, but he was happy in the under 3 area with a tiny slide and ball pit. I think the best part about all our excursions was that Addie found friends at every single place who she bounced around and played with the entire time we were there. She’s such an awesome kid!


Beckett (and Jimmy!) worked super hard at Boost. Beckett did lots of stretching, ladder walking, and playing games. He was beat every day! We would get back to Marte’s around 3, I binge read Michelle Obama’s book while the kids taught Marte to play Uno and destroyed her house with forts, and Beckett napped. It was pretty wonderful! Marte made us delicious food every night and we slept in comfy beds. Not a bad way to spend the first few days of the year!


On the last day of Boost, we picked Beckett and Jimmy up right at the same time CHP closed I-80 due to the storm. So, back to EDH for another night. Luckily, the snow reached Reno and the first day back to school was cancelled. We took our time getting back to Reno Monday and were able to get a little prepped for the week ahead before the boys started back to swim lessons. Coen’s a little fish but Holden refuses to get in the water anymore. We switched teachers and now have to go super late on Mondays, but at least he got in the pool. Wouldn’t leave the step yet, but still, progress. Addie and Beckett started back to school Tuesday while the other two came with me to work. Our usual routine is just far to much for Holden to handle as he’s been falling asleep in random places, then last night, went down for a nap at 5 pm and didn’t wake up until 6:30 in the morning! Plus, he ate a piece of pizza and 3 pb&j’s last week!!! That’s huge for the boy who lives off of cereal bars and pouches. Oh, just one more funny from my office. That last picture is Coen & Caleb snuggled together watching Caleb’s tablet in the tiniest corner of my office under a desk. So random but so adorable!


Tuesday night, Addie had her girl scout cookie kick off meeting. She set a goal to sell 25 boxes. As of today, she’s at almost 50! Yay! If you’d like to buy, here’s her link https://digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/scout/adelyn743568, or you can let me know that you’d like to order and I’ll have her contact you. She’s pretty fired up about it, but doesn’t have that competitive spirit to set huge goals and sell like crazy. I like that about her 🙂


Thursday, Jimmy turned 40. Yep, you read that right. 40! The birthday fairy decorated our house in the middle of the night. We had a random dinner of Mexican food and opened presents before devouring Nothing Bundt Cake. Yum! Friday night, we took Addie and Coen to PF Changs for a proper birthday celebration followed by a movie. We clearly don’t take these kids out enough. They were trying to light a fire with their chopsticks. We saw Mary Poppins Returns


Addie had a friend’s birthday party Saturday and we had a small church event this morning, but aside from that, finally a fairly quiet weekend to relax and play at home. We’ve been talking up the potty to Holden but so far, he’s not interested. He even got Mickey Mouse big boy underwear for Christmas but he’s still not into it. Finally Saturday, he agreed to try them on and even sat on the toilet. No luck and his underwear were a little wet, so over all, wildly unsuccessful, but we’re trying!  Looking forward to an exciting new year with big changes to come!


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I just downloaded our Photo Pass pics, so bonus post 🙂 Plus, Coen’s face on Splash Mountain is awesome!8869801488697835886981698869814926E67omCSHe+etM2zWW+GA8875702988846012

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We’ve been trying to plan a Disney trip for two years now. Over the summer, I found an awesome house right by the park and we decided to make it happen! A couple weeks ago, Addie got invited to her classmate’s sleepover birthday party. She was super excited about it, and though it was Friday night before we planned to leave on our trip, we made it happen! I dropped her off after school on Friday and spent the whole night packing while she spent the whole night at Build-A-Bear, stuffing her face with pizza and pizookies at BJ’s, and having pillow fights with her friends.


My parents and Alyssa flew to LA Saturday morning while our party of 6 crammed everything we could into our car, swung by Addie’s friend’s house to grab her, and drove to Anaheim. After a detour through Tahoe thanks to the freeway between Reno and Carson being closed, and an hour stop in Bishop to play at a park, we finally made it by 7 pm. Sunday morning, bright and early, we made our way to Disneyland! Let me just say, Disney at Christmas is beyond magical! Listening to Christmas music while strolling through the park is pretty much the best thing ever. It just happened to be Mickey’s 90th birthday, so was pretty dang crowded, but thanks to disability access and fast passes, we hardly waited in any lines all day.

Our first ride was Pirates. Not sure it was the best decision as it was Holden’s first ride ever. He did pretty great despite shaking during the scary and fast parts. Coen was all fired up for fast rides and roller coasters, but backed out of most of that the first day. His first go on the tea cups, he wouldn’t even let Auntie and Addie spin. The second day, he went on the Goofy roller coaster at California Adventure and the swinging car on the ferris wheel. We ended the night with the Cars ride. By the second Disney day, he did Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. Every time he’d get off a ride, he’d jump up and down and yell “that was awesome!”. He was the best to sit with!!

Holden’s favorite thing was this tiny slide in Toon Town. Between that and the random bubbles throughout the park, he was perfectly content. He liked going “up and down” on Dumbo with Gramps and I think he had a good time on the carousel. Donald Duck terrified him but he eventually warmed to the characters and actually took a picture with Pluto and gave Mickey a hug. Despite hardly any naps, he did amazingly well.

We stayed at the most awesome house, just a short walk away from Downtown Disney. It had 4 themed bedrooms with giant Disney murals on the walls, a huge spa in the backyard, a giant sunroom plus garage converted into a bonus room with a big TV and pool table. It was perfect for 9 people. Lots of space for everyone, even my insanely loud children!

Speaking of insanely loud children, we spent a couple hours visiting my friend Gina. Three of my kids with two of hers (sweet Khloey went to bed, she takes no blame for the craziness!) were possibly the loudest things I’ve ever heard! And they loved every second of playing with each other. If only LA weren’t so far away!

We had a nice little Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday before packing up and heading to EDH Thursday morning.




Jimmy’s brother Fred and his family were in EDH for Thanksgiving. They live in Mass. so the kids have never met their cousins, DJ and Halle. The had a great time playing together, even if it was only for a few hours. They flew back early this morning. My kids got to have a sleepover with Haylee though, so were pretty excited about that. Tomorrow we head home just in time for Addie’s dress rehearsal for Peanutcracker. Her first show is Friday! So much fun spending time with our families and so ready for the excitement of the Christmas season ahead!



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I feel like every year I’m at least a week late in posting Halloween pictures. This year was a crazy busy one. But first, Holden’s 28-week picture.

Ok, now Halloween overload. Addie’s fall festival was the Thursday before. Coen had swim lessons so our night was divide and conquer. Addie, Holden and I did fall fest while the rest did swim. Addie rode a bull, got her face painted, ran in a giant bubble, jumped on a bunch of inflatables. 

Friday, we loaded up the car and headed over the very rainy hill to EDH. We found a tiny bit of time to fit in Apple Hill. It was a pretty soggy mess but so worth it just for the apple donuts.

We spent some fun time with Miss Haylee decorating pumpkins and celebrating her 3rd birthday. 

And finally, Halloween. Beckett had an appointment at Shriners. We had a quick lunch then headed back to Reno to go to a Halloween party at Addie’s friend William’s house. Coen was in desperate need of a long nap but despite the meltdowns, we still had a great time!

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Pittsburgh Round 3

After a crazy, busy, stressful week at Mayo, we headed to Pittsburgh to see our favorite vision doctor. Dr. Roman’s optimism and patience is so refreshing and her husband, a neonatologist, sits in for most of the appointment adding a medical point of view to Beckett’s history and current status. They are such a great team! This time, she had Beckett looking at illuminated objects, interacting with iPad apps, playing with a shape sorter with music, and selecting objects. She showed him a picture of a cup and a ball and when asked where each was, he’d look at that picture. So proud of this little boy of ours! He’s moved up to a 5 on the CVI scale. Now to get his school on board so we can continue this upward trend!

We had a full day in Pittsburgh before Beckett’s appointment so decided to spend the morning at Phipps Conservatory. Everything was so amazing! My favorites were the orchid room and butterfly room. Such a beautiful place!

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Wedding Weekend

Last weekend, we took our little family of 6 to Santa Rosa to see Jimmy’s aunt Linda get married. I adore Linda! She’s beautiful, smart, funny, and a super savvy business woman. She’s always been a huge supporter of Jimmy in his career and just life in general. The wedding was at her best friend’s vineyard in Healdsburg. Gorgeous setting for such a wonderful event. We took three of the four little minions, Beckett hung out at cousin Marte’s house. The kids were so well-behaved except for one little naughty boy attempting too run down the aisle mid-ceremony. A giant pool was in the middle of the reception with intriguing floating candles that Coen was just set on touching so anytime he left my sight, I was sure he’d be floating in the pool. But no, we survived the whole night without a swim. The kids danced the night away while Holden slept in my arms. It was perfect! Somehow I didn’t get a single picture of the beautiful bride and her handsome groom, but made up for that with a million kid pictures, as usual! 

We spent some good time with Marte and fit in a quick stop by Nana and Poppy’s before heading home to prepare for our crazy week. Another great Labor Day weekend!

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I seriously love holidays! When I was little, my family would get together on the 4th of July and light fireworks in the street in front of our house. Remember those little black worm things that would leave a ring on the sidewalk? What were those anyway? So 80s. One year my stepdad thought it would be fun to launch those spinning colored ones in the air. One landed in a neighbor’s tree. Good times! 

Anyhoo, at some point in life, the 4th of July street fireworks gave way to Tahoe beach days, then once our college days passed, we started locking ourselves inside trying to keep the pugs calm. Since having children, we’re back to finding the hottest firework display to celebrate America’s birthday, which for the past 4 years has been Town Center in EDH. This year we had a full weekend of fun including swimming, cousin play time, fireworks, more swimming and finally good old fashioned street fireworks at Richard and Sharon’s house. Ah, the memories! 

This was Coen’s first year for fireworks. Well, actually his first fireworks were at 6 weeks old in the bjorn. Nothing he’d remember. This year, he loved the big fireworks! Addie always loves them, but this time, she had many questions. “What are fireworks made of? How do they shoot up so high in the air? How do they make different colors? What’s a drone?” Ending the night with, “this is not the finale I expected.” That was almost the title of this post, but then Coen came through last night with this little gem, “I wah you, fireworks.” That was followed by, “I wah you, mommy. I wah you, daddy…” And on down the list of family members he loves. Oh my goodness, these sweet kiddos are too much! 

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