Tuesday, December 22, 2009

7th Annual Christmas Costume Party

A few years back I wanted to have some people over for a Christmas party, so I invited some friends from church and encouraged people to wear Christmas colors, Christmas sweaters or a Christmas themed costume. Surprisingly, lots of people came and the outfits were AMAZING.

Seven years later, I'm still having the party and people are still showing up. If you're around next year, you should come too!

Some of the brilliance:

some cute kids:

peace on earth & christmas tree cutter:

GAP holiday cheer & some good lookin' sisters:

george's cohorts & stewart in his red birthday shirt:

one big happy family:

Christmas Choir

If you want to see a lovely video of Emma's Sunday school class singing some Christmas songs, click here

I'm pretty sure our Children's Choir is on their way to greatness!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Fat Kid

Since Landon turned 2 months a few days ago, I thought I'd share some statistics with y'all...

When Emma was 2 months, she weighed in at 10lbs 5 ozs. She was tiny. She was below the charts for her weight. The doctors were a bit concerned. In fact, it wasn't until her 4th birthday that the doctor finally said that since she's at least on the charts for her weight that we don't have to be concerned anymore. She's still the skinniest kid EVER and, aside from the lengths being wrong, she can still very easily wear her size 2 clothes.

When Grady was 2 months, he was 12lbs 7ozs. That's more than 2 pounds heavier than his sister. So we started referring to him as the fat kid. In a totally nice way, mind you. Compared to his waif of a sister, he was fat. And now, 2 years later, he weighs more than her and is one big solid chunk of exuberance and excitement. Seriously, I sometimes have a hard time lifting him because he is so heavy. And he doesn't even fit in size 2 clothes anymore; he's getting big for his size 3 clothes!

So, when Landon went in for his 2 month check-up, I knew that he would be bigger than Emma was (because who isn't?), but I didn't expect that he would be bigger than Grady. Well he weighed in at a whopping 12lbs 14ozs. So yes folks, in case you were wondering, we have another fat kid on our hands.....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Star Struck

When one of my best friends, Stephanie, married another good friend, Dan, I knew that she had found a winner. Dan is cool, funny, talented and an all around great guy (even if he is from Fresno!)...

.... so, I can't say that I was too surprised when he became famous....
Congratulations Dan!

We are SO proud of you!

And so excited that we officially know someone famous.

But please don't let all of the fame go to your head. Keep it real.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A few things

1. did you know that brussels sprouts grow on stalks like this? God sure is creative!

2. this tree is reminiscent of our trip to the east coast when emma was a baby. we planted it in our front yard a year or so ago and now get to appreciate it in all of it's autumn glory!

happy thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

DMG Engineering: Present and Future

{update: we finally have a website! check it out at www.dmgbayarea.com}

Dylan had a survey out on Lucas Valley Road today (no, I don't expect that name to mean anything to you) and he thought that we should tag along.

The last time I went surveying with him, Emma was about 3 or so months old and I was carrying her in the Baby Bjorn and she kept grabbing the pole and messing everything up. So when Dylan suggested that we come with him, I was a bit nervous what it was going to be like with two toddlers and an infant in tow. But, since Grady happens to have an official survey outfit, I figured it was worth a shot and we'd at least get some good pics!

Thankfully, when we got to the survey location, Dylan was able to use the ol' GPS and we didn't have to help at all- but, shhh, don't tell that to the kids- they think they really were surveying!

Enjoy this glimpse into the future of DMG Engineering, Inc.!

(appropriate surveying attire: levi's, orange t-shirt, and a flannel)

(sleeping on the job)

(the future of our company)

(Emma got to use the data collector and press buttons)

(nice scab, huh! it's not from the survey but it was too impressive to not highlight!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Favorite Things: Chewy Ginger Cookies

I'm a chocolate girl. I love all things chocolate: candy, hot cocoa, cake, pie, mochas, cookies. I even made a chocolate sauce for pasta once and it was amazing. You name it, if it has chocolate I will love it.

So, I feel a bit unfaithful because I have a new favorite cookie. And it doesn't have any chocolate in it. And I could eat like a dozen of them in a row because they are that good. Seriously amazing. Oh, and they're super easy and fast to make!

Chewy Ginger Cookies
recipe courtesy of Kirstie Morphy who got it from someone else....

3/4 c. softened butter
1 c. sugar (+more for rolling)
1 egg
1/4 c. molasses
2 1/2 c. flour
2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
1/2 t. cloves

Preheat oven to 325.

Mix butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add egg and molasses. Mix until combined.

Sift together dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Mix together until combined.

Scoop out about a tablespoon or so of dough and roll into a ball. Then roll the ball in extra sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 min- just until edges are firm. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Leave on cookie sheet for a few minutes until the cookies set and then place on cooling rack to cool all the way.

Yield about 24 of the most amazing, chewy cookies ever.

Okay, so now you have the recipe. You should go make a batch right now and find out what the best cookie EVER tastes like. Really, even if you don't think you like ginger cookies, you should make these. Because you'll find that you really do like ginger cookies and you'll end up eating the whole batch. And then make another batch the next day because, yes, they are THAT good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some questions you might have and their answers

What's faster than a speeding bullet?
Dylan pushing the "new" Bumbleride Indie Twin. Thank you Craigslist and the girls who showered me with the funds to buy it!

How is life with 3 kids?
Not too bad so far since Landon sleeps like 20 hours a day!

What did Emma wear to school last Friday?
Oh, you know, a red shirt, a pink skort, pink striped leg warmers and purple striped socks.

What color are Landon's eyes going to be?
Well, so far, it looks like he's gonna have baby blues just like his sister. There's also a dimple hiding in those cheeks somewhere.

What costume did you buy for Grady to wear for Halloween?
This AWESOME 3-eyed monster costume.

What did Grady really wear for Halloween since he refused to put the 3-eyed monster costume on?
He wore his Home Depot apron and a tool belt of course!

Who wore the 3-eyed monster costume instead?
Our cousin Arielle. It was awesome!

What did Emma wear for Halloween?
A flower fairy costume (shown here with her Power Ranger cousin Elijah)

And what about Landon?
Well, he wore the token pumpkin hat.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


In honor of Halloween, I thought I'd post a picture of something very spooky. That I found in my garden. And almost touched.
Yes, that HUGE orange/black thing in the middle of the picture is NOT a flower. It's a spider.

Needless to say, I promptly screeched and ran far, far away. (You never know if these things can jump or not) Then I told my husband to take a picture.

It's still there if any of you want to come take a closer look. If you don't come soon though, it may become yet another victim of Dylan's blow torch.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Favorite Things: Quick Zip Crib Sheets

A friend recently asked me if there were any nicknames for Landon. I told her that I'd let her know if we came up with any. Well, I have one. No, it doesn't derive from the name Landon but it sure fits him. Firehose. Man, this kid can pee through more outfits in a day than anyone you know. And if you're the one in charge of changing his diaper, watch out. He has been known to project incredible amounts of pee across the entire room. Just ask the nurse who he shot pee all over at his 3 day checkup. She said she'd never seen a baby pee so much or shoot it so far. I know, we should be really proud but, when it requires changing our sheets and doing multiple loads of laundry a day, it gets kinda irritating!

Which brings me to my next point. I hate changing crib sheets. I hate having to climb all over the crib rails and manipulate the sheets around the crib bumper and getting my fingers smashed in the process. I hate that the sheets usually need to be changed in the middle of the night when you're tired and sleep deprived and your baby is screaming because he's hungry and covered in pee (or poo) that leaked through his super duper absorbant diaper.

The solution to all of these woes: The Quick Zip Crib Sheet. My friend Anna introduced these to me when I was pregnant with Grady and I have to say that I am probably their number one fan. The sheet comes as a two piece set. The bottom part goes under and up the sides of the mattress (kind of like a fitted sheet but put on from under the mattress instead of over the top) and has a zipper that runs around the opening. The top part of the sheet is a flat sheet that fits just over the top of the mattress and zips onto the bottom portion. So, when you need to change the sheet, you really just need to zip off the top sheet and zip on an extra top sheet, thus eliminating the need to climb all over the crib or work around the bumper. And yes, you can do this all with one hand while you're holding your screaming infant in the other.

These are also great for toddler beds, especially when you're working on potty training and are changing the sheets all the time.

If you're going to buy a set I would recommend buying the starter set (one bottom part and one top part) and at least one additional top sheet. Also, if you want a mattress pad for under the sheet, you can buy a flat (as in not fitted) mattress pad that covers the top of the mattress at Target and then you don't have the problem of getting the fitted sides of the pad down around the sides of the mattress.

And although you can purchase the sheets from the manufacturer (www.CloudsandStars.com), your may be able to find them slightly cheaper if you shop around online. But, the manufacturer's site has all of the colors available.

So, next time you're wondering what to ask for for Christmas or a baby shower, you should ask for these!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Here are some pics for you.....

One week down, hundreds more to go. Here are some of the moments that we've captured so far...

1:22am, fresh out

are you in love?

kaiser's "celebration menu"- reheated food served on real plates

family of 5! the big kids look thrilled!

over the initial disappointment of not having a sister

more to love

landon wears a lot of pink because he pees through so many blankets every day

the three boys

and the sibling torture begins!

tormentor and tormented

be afraid, be very afraid!

landon and his fairy sister

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's a BOY!!!

Last Wednesday, I woke up at 2:30am having really painful contractions. Since I couldn't sleep through the pain, I got up and started getting ready for a trip to the hospital. I finished doing some laundry, did the dishes, straightened the house.... you get the idea. Then of course, by the afternoon my contractions had all but stopped and I was exhausted and discouraged. When would I ever get to meet this mystery baby who has been bouncing and bumping around inside of me for the past nine months?

That evening, I was determined to get this kid out so Dylan and I went for a walk around the Lafayette Reservoir. The intense walk up and down the hills kicked my contractions back into gear but just to make sure they kept on coming, I went home and vacuumed the whole house.

Finally, when my contractions were 3 minutes apart, we left for the hospital. After a few hours sitting in triage waiting for a doctor to come check my dialation (because the nurse couldn't figure it out), we were told that the past 20 hours of contractions had not progressed my labor at all. I was still 1.5cm dialated and definitely not in active labor. :( Apparently, Baby G III wasn't going to come out afterall. So we went home so that at least Dylan could attempt to get some sleep.

Thirty minutes later my water broke. We rushed back to the hospital and found out that I was already 7cm dialated. By the time they were wheeling me down the hall into the delivery room, I was already pushing. 20 minutes or so later we were introduced to this little guy.....
Landon Gregory Gonsalves
10/15/09 (his due date!)
8lbs 2 oz
21 1/2" long

We're thrilled, excited, in awe and totally thankful for our healthy baby boy. More pictures to come soon!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Favorite Things: Bissell Steam Mop

I know that you've been waiting with baited breath to see what other product received my coveted endorsement. Well wait no more. Here it is....The Bissell Steam Mop!

First let me explain some things about myself:
1. I HATE mopping. It's dirty, gross, hard work with results that are never very satisfactory.
2. I have a dog with mental problems who salivates a lot.
3. I have a toddler who likes to spill food, drink- whatever he can get his hands on.
4. I don't mind vacuuming but our house has mostly hardwood floors.
5. My cousin Bryana deserves a medal for introducing me to this product.

Okay, so back to the Bissell Steam Mop. This thing is great!
1. With as much effort as pushing a vacuum around, you can clean and sanitize your floors.
2. It only uses water so you don't have any soapy or chemical residue.
3. It has washable microfiber scrubbing pads so when you're done mopping, you just throw them in the washer and re-use them to your heart's content.
4. It's small and compact-smaller than a vacuum- and very lightweight.
5. It's super quiet so you can mop right outside of your kids' bedrooms while they're napping and it won't disturb them.
6. The steam dries quickly (unlike soapy mop water) so you don't have to wait for long before you can walk around on your floors again.

How it works:
1. Fill up a container on the back of the mop with tap water.
2. Attach a reusable mop pad.
3. Plug in the mop.
4. Within a few minutes, a red light turns on indicating that it is hot and ready to go.
5. Press the steam button as you push the mop around your floors. If you have a particularly gunky spot, hold the steam down on top of the spot for a few seconds and watch it disappear.
6. Be amazed at how easy it was and how clean your floors are.

Some not-quite-perfect things about the mop:
1. Like any mop, you have to clear your floor of debris first or you'll just end up pushing it around.
2. The cord isn't super long so you'll have to unplug and replug it in as you move around the room.
3. You won't get a streak free shine- but your floors will be clean and sanitized. (Maybe since my floors are old and gross to begin with they just won't shine no matter what)

Seriously folks, this product is great and it is definitely worth a try if you have a lot of hard surface floors in your house. If you live nearby, I'll happily loan you mine for a day or two so that you can try it out! Or if you do get one, let me know what you think!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What to do when there's nothing to do....

We had absolutely nothing scheduled to do this weekend.

That NEVER happens.

We were thinking about going garage saleing on Saturday or perhaps to a pumpkin patch but Grady woke up with a fever in the morning.

So instead, we (I use that term loosely) stuck around and did some projects around the house.

Project #1:
Clearing out our vegetable garden.
It served us well and we are really excited to do it again next spring. We may even attempt a few winter vegetables but we'll see....
(Our final harvest)
(Grady helping)
(Our one and only watermelon)

Project #2:
Digging out a hole in our hill to put our hot tub.
This required ordering a dumpster to put the dirt, hiring Wand (Juan) from the Home Depot parking lot to do some serious manual labor and of course, lots of playing in the dumpster. The kids spent a good part of the afternoon standing on Emma's bed and yelling out the window at Wand. Poor guy!

There's still a ton more digging to do and then pouring a concrete slab and retaining wall but for now, there's a really cool hole in the middle of our hill. Maybe one of these days we'll actually be able to use the hot tub again!

ps. does anyone happen to have a set of 5' exterior french door (in frame) lying around that they're looking to get rid of? That's the next project on our list.... doors from the master bedroom out to the hot tub.