Monday, September 27, 2010

there's' no place like home...

back from three weeks of hopping on and off of planes every 4-5 days or so.

lots of progress.

lots of work.

lots of fun.

lots of smiles, tears, hugs, conversations, friends, family.... and all that comes with travel.

at the end of THIS day.

we are HAPPY to be home.

travel stories to come.

really. they are.

for now.


that's all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

becoming friends

After one of the worst weekends I have had in a long time, a breath of fresh air walked into our house tonight! Ariana and Jasper of Becoming Mom came to visit! Ariana, who I now totally feel comfortable calling my "good friend" and her family are visiting from New York and took some time away from their family vacation to visit Liam and I. We were planning on getting all of the family together, but at the last minute, Kurt had to take a meeting in Seattle and was sad to not get to meet Ari's hubby Jeff... but the girls and baby boys had fun! (And we are planning a NY trip in November to visit them).

Ari and I began our online friendship back on the message boards on "The Bump" when we were pregnant - swapping stories of awesome baby products and sharing pregnancy woes... then later reconnected after Liam and Jasper were born on the same day. (Swapping newborn stories and lack of sleep woes). We have been in communication on the web living bizarro parallel lives ever since.

Tonight we met face to face... which might seem odd - but it felt like old pals.

The boys played guitar together, watched a little "Toy Story" together.. Liam taught Jasper all about Buzz and Woody, and Jasper displayed excellent sharing skills (Liam on the other hand wasn't very into sharing... he is working on that!")

The boys ate a semi-balanced dinner of KRAFT mac and cheese (I don't think Jasper's tummy or tongue had ever experienced the flourescent orange cheesy coating which only comes in the Kraft blue box - or easy mac packet), grapes, veggie snacks, cheese, crackers and milk. Ariana and I noshed on Presecco and Salad w/ some snacky snacks. (btw Jeff - excellent choice on the Prosecco - delicious and lovely label!)

Liam was a little cranky - but they got through it and together the boys had a lot of fun moments of laughter. We were so so happy they came to visit. I unfortunately did not take many or good photos... (When Ari brought out her big powerful equipment, i just kind of forgot to grab a camera!) But there were a couple of cute moments where I did click a few frames off... the lighting is bad - and the shots are blurry - but the moment was super cute. Ariana and the fam had gone to Universal Studios earlier in the day and met Curious George (both the boys favorite) so they were reviewing the shots of George together on her camera... so cute:)

Liam pointing out George and Jasper in the screen display.

I need to edit this one a little bit - this is SOOC... but what a perfect moment. Photographer mommy taking a moment out to kiss her baby - still with her massive impressive equipment in hand!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

napa 4.0 a whole lotta photos!

We're back... from the 4th "almost" annual trip to Napa.
We had a great time again.
Stayed at the Villa Palma again.
Drank lots of wine again.
But did a few things differently this year :)
This year was the photo year. Since last year - everyone had upgraded their equipment. Clare got a Rebel Xs and is loving it... Tonya got a great Nikon... and Char (the newbie) had a really cool Lumix point and shoot. (I still have the same camera, but upgraded my lens.)

We had a little shutterfly website that we built last year - so we added all of our photos again this year... so far we have like 415 photos up there!

Here are a handful :)

I love the feet kicked up on the wine barrel in this shot! It's at V. Sattui winery.
The girls... this is at Bennett Lane Winery. We got lucky and found two guys who were there taking photos for the winery's website... they had insane cameras and were rocking the "L" lenses... it was pretty funny because they were all "do you mind if we change your settings"... they were probably laughing because us "amateurs" are shooting in AV... when I got it back... it was in "M"!!! (which I am way too scared to shoot in!!)

Char took this one - its is Clare, Me, Tonya at Chateau Montelena. This is the winery that put Napa on the map by winning some big wine competition in Paris in 1976 for their 1973 Chardonnay. (See the movie "Bottle Shock"... it tells the whole story) This place is stunning!
Char - at the Chateau. She's a teeny little thing!

Tonya at Summer Estate winery... if only she didn't have a smudge on her lense - this would have been a GREAT shot. Look at the landscape in the reflection of her fancy gold shades!

This little dude was hanging outside of Markham winery.
He had more personality than the staff there.
Beautiful Clare - at V. Sattui.

200 of the 415 photos are probably of this fountain.
One because it attracts lots of awesome birds,
Two because we didn't have to move from the porch to shoot it and
Three... it was beautiful.
I think this has to win the prize for best fountain/bird shot though. Its totally a staredown for the top spot on the fountain.

Appetizers! The tomatoes are from the owner of the Villa's garden. They were waiting for us on Saturday night when we returned from tasting.

There are lots of gorgeous iron gates on the property. This one encloses the driveway.

There are those yummy tomatoes again... they arrived in a Dean and Deluca bag..
which made them even more luxurious.
We were the first to taste this Cab. at Mid Summer Cellars.. "Rollie" the winemaker used the "thief" to steal a taste right from the barrel. It was a VERY cool experience (minus the "Real Hosuewives of Chicago that showed up and crashed our private tasting).
Rollie's wine wins for the best wine - we bought his 2007 Canon Creek Cabernet Sauvignon to sip along with the ridiculous rib eye steaks that Tonya grilled on our last night there.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

napa bound!





with the girls....

click here to see last years adventures.

stories to come.

it's liam and daddy against the world all weekend long!
wish us all luck!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

nap notes - a wonderful helper!

One of the great things about Liam's new preschool is that I get a cute little report that they call "nap notes" sent home in his backpack every day. SO far, all of his reports have been good and said things like "Liam listened very well today"... they also tell you if they napped well that day, need diapers/ wipes or a change of clothes on hand to be replenished.

Yesterday's note looked like this :) Kurt and I were proud of Liam and can't wait for him to bring some of those wonderful helper skills home with him!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

california kids

Have you ever opened up a catalog for kids board shorts and swimsuits and thought... now, that BLONDE haired, BLUE eyed child, IS THE quintessential California kid? That is EXACTLY what these two (well three counting Liam) little pro-surfers in the making are!

Meet Carly and Bryce. They are the most outgoing, fun, energetic, sweet, little kids you have ever met. They belong to our good friend Tobi and Bob who live in San Diego. (we wish they were closer) They came to visit us on Liam's birthday when we were on vacation... they brought presents and smiles with them.

They left an impression on Liam... ever since we have been home, he has been talking about them, and has to show me the picture that Bryce drew for him almost daily!

They had fun playing in the boat! I think Liam could pass for a sibling.

How gorgeous is miss Carly? She had spent the week at surf camp learning to shred the waves!
Meet Bryce... at just 5 years old - he is a professional skateboarder... He went pro when he was just three! see for yourself... click HERE
oh.. and you know this one... Lima Bean... he is a little more aprehensive about the ocean. He'll learn.
brotherly/sisterly love!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Day of Preschool!

Today is Liam's very FIRST day of preschool!
When Daddy asked him how he felt about goint to school this morning, he said "excited"... and I think he really was. We attended a little meet and greet last night and he got to see his classroom and meet the teacher and just play... he couldn't stop talking about all of the things that he saw there all last night and this morning.

These were the things he was saying:
Liam: Mommy, Wags... Wags the dog at school
Me: Yes, Liam, there is a BIG doggie on the door at your school
Liam: Mommy... Thomas at school
Me: Yes, Liam, there is a Thomas the train table at your school
Liam: Mommy... Car, Bike, Penguin
Me: Yes, Liam, You drove the car and rode the bike outside at the playground at your school... and you saw a penguin on the wall... very good for remembering!
Liam: Mommy... puzzle, crayon, Wags... apple cubby!
Me: Good job remembering Liam, you are right - ALL of those things are at your school!

SO - this goes on for an hour last night and all morning today.

Anyway... we arrived at Cornerstone at about 10 minutes until 9:00 am this morning. Liam was one of the first to arrive in his class - we arrived at the same time as his good friend Tye and Tye's Daddy - Mike. We think Liam and "Sadie" will become good friends - she is very cute and her parents are sweet.

His teacher is Ms. Amy, and she must be the most patient woman alive - and adorable to boot.

It went great - no tears. No tears from Liam OR from Mommy! Can't wait to hear about his day!!!

Daddy and Liam in front of the school - it is in a really cool historic building... spanish style that has been completely rennovated and is very clean and nice on the inside.

very secure... a gate on the outside that surrounds the front patio, then another security system at a secondary door, they also have lots of cameras around... i guess there are a few celebs kids that go here... we might have met a certain laker and his wife and kids this morning... just maybe. ;) oh - and that is mike and tye :) they were nice enough to wait for us as we took photos this morning!
the BIG doggie by his classroom :) he was very excited about that!
checking in

Liam's Apple Cubby... see all of that paperwork in his cubby... that was for us. We forgot and left it all there - oops, will pick it up when we go back this afternoon to pick him up. Hope it wasn't too important.
They are WILD about books at his school, they are everywhere, there is even a library where they have time with a librarian a couple of times a week!
I think this is going to be wonderful for Liam!