Sunday, November 13, 2011


Well, I think we have another year before Gianna really gets into Halloween.  This year she was less interested in dressing up and trick-or-treating and more interested in the people coming to the door and our candy were were handing out.  Before we left she was loving going through our box of candy and moving it from the box to a bowl she was playing with.  Seeing this, I thought she was going to love trick or treating and getting her own candy... Wrong!  She didn't want the candy people were giving her, she just wanted to run as fast as she could down the sidewalk.  Once we got home, she did end up liking the candy in her bag.  We tried to get pictures, but didn't really succeed.  Gianna was a cat.  I made her some ears to attach to her pigtails because I didn't think she would keep a headband on.  They worked pretty well at the beginning, but with all the running they kept falling off.  She was pretty cute, even if we didn't get a smile (she pretty much hates the camera).  Oh, and we had one very cute giraffe too!

This is the best one, and I like it because Gianna is holding Dominic's hand.
This is when  I gave Gianna the first box of candy I could find to try to get her to sit still so we could get the candy.  There is a sequence of pictures where Dominic discovers the box, grabs the box, Gianna realizes it, yells at him, and then pulls the box away.  It's really funny, but there are too many to put them all up here. Here are a few of the key pics to give you an idea of what took place.  

Dominic spots the candy
Dominic grabs the candy and Gianna notices what he is doing

Gianna yells and pushes him away

Oh, and right after this, I realized I gave her Dots, the worst candy I could have, said aloud to my husband "what did I just give her?" I then quickly subbed them for something else.

Here are some more pictures from the night...

         cute little kitty cat

best Mommy and Gianna picture we could get
Family picture
Mommy and our sleepy giraffe
Gianna running with her bag made by Mommy

We stopped to see Pearl!

All 3 cousins - the best we could get!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

So, here I am again, a bit behind.  But I wanted to share our Halloween craft with you before it's not Halloween anymore.  Oh, and I added a picture of our fall tree here.

I found this pumpkin art project on Pinterest and thought it would be the perfect project for Gianna!  I knew that she would not be able to paint within a circle, so I just let her paint all over the paper with orange paint. 

Here are some pictures of her painting...

Concentrating very hard


She's never sure how she feels about getting paint on herself.

Caught this cute smirk!

After it dried, I cut out the shape of a pumpkin and glued it onto another paper.  Then, used her hands to make the leaves of the pumpkin.  I finished it off by painting on the stem and writing Happy Halloween.  I think it turned out well!
Here is our finished project! 

I couldn't get a good picture of Gianna holding it, so I had to settle for this. 

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 we come!

Well,  I decided that I wanted to try to start some crafts with Gianna.  I wasn't sure how it would go seeing as she's really into making a mess lately, so I am really into trying to prevent messes from happening.  Therefore, in my head paint was a little scary!

We have done a few painting projects that have been fun.  We started out by doing this Very Hungry Caterpillar project a couple of months ago.

It went okay.  I discovered while doing these first few projects, that it might be a challenge to get her to actually finish the projects we start without it becoming a big painted blob of something unrecognizable.  She put a little paint on the body of the caterpillar and then seemed to be done.  She was more interested in swirling the paint around on the plate than really painting with it.  After a bit of praise and prompting to keep going and ultimately some help from Mommy, the caterpillar was painted!  The next day when I put the eyes and antennae on (I would have let her help put the eyes on, but I had to use hot glue b/c I need to pick up some Elmer's glue) and she could see that it was actually something, she was very impressed and proud of herself!
Gianna very excited about her caterpillar!
Showing her caterpillar to Mommy!

Our next project was a fall tree that I saw on Pinterest (I thought I pinned it, but guess I didn't, so I am not sure where it is).  You paint their hand and arm to use as the trunk and branches, and then they use their thumbprints/fingerprints as the leaves.  I had to direct Gianna's hand a little bit to help her to use her fingertips to make leaves, but she caught on and did well...for a little while.  All of a sudden she started smearing the paint all over, and then I decided it was time to stop.  I know I have to let her do her own thing, but I kinda want our projects turning out looking somewhat like what they are intended to be.  I'm trying to figure out if finding a middle ground is okay or if I should just let her do it all by herself.

Here is a not so great picture of our tree


Due to the fact that Gianna is into smearing paint all over, I thought I would try this that I also found on Pinterest, and let her have full control (well, for the most part).  I gave her the toilet paper tube and showed her how to do it.  She imitated how I did it a few times and then did her own thing, which was fine.  I even decided that this was a good time to let her smear the paint all over herself too!  She had fun!  And it was really cute!


Next up:  A fun fall pumpkin and our first trip to the zoo!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This is harder than I thought

Well, as it has been a few months since I started my blog (and even posted anything), I feel like I failed at blogging.  It has proven to be hard when there are so many things to pick from to do when I have free time (I recently discovered Pinterest, and if you know what that is, you understand how it can suck you in).  Well, I'm not giving up!  I think I am going to set a new goal to try to post at least one time a week, even if it's a few sentences.

So, here are a few updates on the kids.  Dominic is 5 1/2 months old and a very good and happy baby. He is very laid back and just goes with the flow. He loves to smile and cuddle, such a momma's boy, I love it!  He started "scooting" across the floor about a month ago.  Well, just this weekend he started really crawling!  5 1/2 months old and crawling already!  I thought Gianna was an early crawler at 6 months.  He is also sitting up, still a little wobbly, but doing pretty good! I think he is going to give me a run for my money!

And other times smiley guy
Sometimes he can be Mr. Serious

Gianna is almost 21 months old and getting so big!  Now she is my little girl, no longer my baby.  In the last few weeks her vocabulary has taken off!  She is putting two or three words together to make sentences now.  It is a lot of fun trying to figure out what she is saying!  She still loves her brother, they are best friends already!  She loves to sing songs and dance.  She doesn't get all the words, but you can tell what song it is because she sings with the tune.  She says prayers with us and sings the "Hail Mary" with us every night.  It makes Joey and I smile each time!  We are trying to catch it on video and if we do, I'll post it on here.  I have been trying to do some fall painting activities with her, so I will post those pictures soon! It's fun to see how she is very proud of her artwork!

It's hard to get Gianna to look at the camera and smile at the same time.  This was close!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chunka Monka

Now to introduce my sweet baby boy, Dominic Joseph!  He is 3 months old (yes, they are only 15 months apart) and such a joy in my life!  He has a smile that melts my heart each and every time.  He is a bit of a Momma's boy, but I don't mind.  I just love how cuddly he can be!  He has the chubbiest most kissable cheeks, and I take advantage of that many times a day!  He is quite the chunk, at his 2  month visit he was in the 95 percentile, weighing 14lb 9oz.  I wouldn't be surprised if he is 16 lbs by now!  He is quite different from his sister who was/is pretty petite.  He loves Gianna, by the way!  He is really starting to watch everything she does and smiles at her all the time!  I look forward to watching them interact together as siblings.  It is already so amazing to watch their love for each other forming and growing!  They are going to be best friends!  I bet they get mixed up for twins some day.  He is going to catch her on weight, I think, and many people have commented on how much they look alike.
 shy grin

Dominic has already been through the wringer in his short life.  Before he was born we were told that he had hydronephrosis (a dilated kidney).  We were hoping that it would correct itself by the time he was born, but it didn't.  When he was born they did an ultrasound and it showed that it was still dilated.  They did a test and determined that it wasn't reflux, or a valve problem (which were both good things).  We saw a pediatric urologist when he was one week old.  She told us that it was probably a blockage, but she wanted to do another test when he was 2 months old to determine the severity, but it was a good possibility that he would need surgery to fix the blockage.  It was heart wrenching for us to think about such a little baby, our baby, having to go through surgery.  The doctor told us to go home and enjoy our baby for 2 months and not to think about it.  This was a bit of a reassurance to us, as life for the week he was here had been chaotic and full of worry.

Over the two months before his test we kind of came to grips with the fact that he was probably going to need surgery.  It was really hard, but we knew that once this was fixed he would be okay and would be able to live normally.  I just wanted him to be healthy!  Even though we were accepting it, we were also praying really hard (and everyone we know was praying) for a miracle that he wouldn't need the surgery.
The day after he was born.

Two months past by and the day of his testing came.  It was not a fun experience, Dominic needed to get an iv put in his arm, they strapped him down and he screamed the whole time.  It was torture as a mother to not be able to pick him up and comfort him.  I held back the tears as I rubbed his head and whispered in his ear how much I love him.  Finally, they got the iv in (the 3rd try) and the test began.  Dominic was so worn out that he fell asleep during the actual test, which was a relief.  During the test, he laid under a machine that took pictures every 60 seconds, watching the fluid go through his body.  After the test and an ultrasound, we thought for sure he was going to need the surgery.  We could see how his left kidney was bigger than right and there was a lot of fluid in it.
Gianna meeting her little brother for the first time.

We went to see the urologist after the tests, we prepared ourselves to hear "he needs surgery."  She walked in the room and said "great news, there is no blockage, NO surgery!"  Our jaws dropped and we asked her to please explain because what we saw didn't look good.  She explained that they measure the rate at which the kidney empties.  The cut off for needing surgery is taking longer than 20 minutes.  Both of Dominic's kidneys drained in 9 minutes, which was normal!  For some reason his left is holding more fluid, so that is what we saw on the ultrasound.  It is holding more, but there is nothing blocking it from draining!  It was the miracle that we were praying for!  The doctor told us she wants him to have an ultrasound in 6 months to check on everything.
A recent pic.  He has gotten so big, and changed so much!

That was a lot of information, I know.  But, I feel like it is an important part of his life, thus far.  And shows why Dominic's life is such a added blessing to us!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Brown-Eyed Girl

I already talked a little bit about Gianna, but I thought I would add a little more.  Gianna is 18 months old and is in a really fun but challenging stage right now.  She is learning so much everyday, more than I sometimes realize.  She has a limited vocabulary, but understands so much!  Her vocabulary includes, Momma, Da Da (even though she currently calls Joey Momma), Dom, NO, yeah, down, hot, out, dog, Elmo, shoes, I don't know, hi, bye, more, cheese, eyes, baby, ball and book (there could be more that I am forgetting).  She loves puzzles, books, singing, dancing and sillyness!  She loves babies and stuffed animals and often walks around with someone under her arm, rocking it and saying "Shhhh." She also loves her little brother very much!  She likes to help me take care of him. If he starts crying and I don't get to him right away she runs up to him saying "Dom, Dom, shhhh Dom," and tries to give him his pacifier.

As I said, this has been a fun but challenging age.  She gets frustrated trying to communicate what she wants and even more frustrated when I say no. We have temper tantrums when things don't go her way.  All of this was magnified the last few months, as all four of her molars were coming in at the same time and there was no consoling her.  Oh, and every diaper change was a struggle.  And she has been really into making messes lately.
This was Joey's birthday, this is where we found Gianna after we sat down for a few minutes in the other room.  The good thing was she was going after the fruit!

It has been a long summer (considering I was also trying to get used to caring for two children), but I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Her teeth are in, so there is not as much whining, I am beginning to be able to reason with her, she is letting me change her diaper, and she is beginning to play by herself a little more.

Anyway, the good always outweighs the bad and I feel so blessed to be the Mommy of such a beautiful, sweet little girl!

More on Dominic soon!

Monday, August 1, 2011

What's for Dinner?

This is what I am making for dinner tonight. Since I was checking the recipe to start prepping, I thought I would share. This is the first time I have made this, so I am not sure what it tastes like, but it sure looks yummy!

I love The Pioneer Woman, by the way!

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta