Friday, December 31, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-laaaaaaaaa

we had a caroling party! it took me away from everything for a few days. i was cleaning, cooking, and creating these - our caroling books! actually, pete created, printed, bound, and poked the holes - i just added curly ribbon and a scrapbooking sticker ;).

we had a great time with family & friends:

laura, eric, and jd decided to make it an ugly sweater party. i think laura and eric just wanted an excuse to buy these amazing turtleneck/vest combos ;). i didn't snap a pic of jd, he was partying outside all night, but he looked equally as great in his $3 goodwill find!

newly engaged heidi (no pic - boo) and wilson surprised us with a tagged bottle of vino and their presence! wilson didn't respond to our punchbowl (loving more than evite these days) e-invite, but ended up having to call us for directions when he got lost in the valley! still a surprise, but not the coupe he was hoping for ;)

also engaged becca & mike we here! they were SHOCKED to learn that donner is donder, not donner. it was quite fun proving them wrong with all SEVEN of our 'night before christmas' books on the mantel.

to keep the chill away, we mulled wine (i added nutmeg, allspice), made a huge crockpot of our famous chili (you have to click even if you don't like chili), provided all the toppings - cheese, sour cream, onions, tortilla chips, and made the most amazing brownie ever created. ghirardelli brownie mix from costco, milk chocolate frosting with peppermint flavoring, and crushed candy canes - so simple, but i was a HERO at one o'clock!! i can't believe i didn't take a picture of our food! another tidbit about the night..................


it was a scheduling thing. we wanted people to have a couple drinks first, but we didn't start the party until 5:30, which means people didn't get here until 6. a couple drinks, and everyone's hungry! you can't go caroling immediately after eating (like swimming, you need to wait), and by then the couple drinks turned into too-many-to-sound-coherent (we live around a TON of older folks, who would've really enjoyed the singing provided we didn't carry around a keg and themos of mulled wine - that's where things were heading by the time we realized we should carol). next year we're starting earlier and may even spring the caroling on unsuspecting guests - i think the singing deterred a couple people from coming ;).

jack was a super-kid all night! he ate well, chatted, and played outside. he really didn't want to go to bed, the little party animal:
apple doesn't fall far from the tree. i wish we had (maybe not really ;)) digital cameras in college because i have an excellent photo of pete just sleeping where he was (two words: house boats) that i would LOVE to insert here... if my scanner behaved, you would have a treat!

Friday, December 17, 2010


i thought you might want a snapshot of the 'lady' jack says goodnight to every night:

gorgeous, isn't she? just another quirk of our crooked home!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

morning routine

i'm all for recording routines right now, please bear with me:

mornings come at all sorts of hours in our household. there are 5am 'mommy, i'm up!!' and 8am 'mommy, i'm up!!' calls from jack's room. i prefer the 8am calls, but sometimes the ones in the middle are my fave. they aren't as obscene as 5am, but also create enough tiredness for an afternoon nap. and we get a lot done in the morning. my non-mom friends are always so amazed when we talk at 8 or 9 and i have a laundry list of what we've been up to (and that ALWAYS includes laundry - seriously, any suggestions on keeping up with it?!?!? totally my least favorite - if any can be considered 'favorite' - chore).

immediately after jack's up, we'll either rest in his room (5am days), cuddle with daddy (most other days), or get up and moving (8am+) days. jack has some milk (he LOVES milk!) and we'll pack some snacks or lunch for pete. after waving, and kissing, and screaming 'byyyyyyyeeeee daaaaaddyyyyyyyy' out our little window, jack and i plan our day.

over coffee and usually an english muffin (jack's breakfast of choice lately). i drink my coffee while jack drinks his 'coffee' (his includes regular milk with a splash of cream in a coffee cup, he loves being all grown up).

writing out our list. today included a trip to costco and the mailstop.
rereading it to me - we have to make sure it's all there or we'll forget something!

i'm a total list-maker. i'm sure jack'll be the same one day!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

bedtime routine

this is one of those things i'm blogging about to remember! jack is growing up so fast -- though this is our current routine, i know it'll change again, so i thought i'd better get it down now. it's only a few minutes, but it's so precious to the three of us...

we have created a bad habit of watching a little star trek before heading into jack's room. i know it's dorky, but pete's a bit of a dork. and, apparently, i am too as i don't mind watching the enterprise on their research missions and often admire the make-up necessary to pull off all the 'races' from those around the universe. after a little trek action, we head into jack's room. we say goodnight to mommy's clock (1st anniversary present from pg), goodnight to the other clock (oven) and the rooster. we say good night to the decorations (always changing), the lady, and the letter G. we bid goodnight to a picture of baby jack.

after laying the little man in this:
we sing songs. 1st up is daddy with camping songs (boyscout songs of his youth). they are followed with 'goodnight, son', 'goodnight, daddy', and i love yous.

then it's my turn. i sing the following, every night, in this order, or i receive protests:
you are my sunshine
baa-baa black sheep
itsy-bitsy spider
twinkle, twinkle little star


my songs are followed with 'sleep well, jack', 'sleep well, mommy', 'love you!' i've learned that once i hear the 'sleep well, mommy' we're good to go for the night. if i don't get that, whether now or later, he'll be up. 'don't want to take a rest' or 'feel better' or 'it's up time' and my fave 'cuddle me 5 more minutes' will come out of his mouth at least once. this 'i feel better' business cracks me up - i couldn't for the life of me remember why he said this until right. now. we usually say he'll feel better or great after a midday nap - especially when he's grumpy - he must've translated that to bedtime! cute.

our transition to the bbb was fabulous, then we hit a rocky patch of jack getting up a TON. now we're going ok, with a few nights of waking up, then a few with silence. naps are slowly going away (biggest sigh ever), but that allows for longer outings and more cuddle time (resting reading or watching a show or brief movie = downtime for me too), but also creates some drama in the evening and doesn't give me any time to be jen or clean or blog or do anything that's easier/faster/quieter/cleaner without a toddler helping.

sometimes i encourage him to take a little rest in here. he calls it his doghouse ;):

Friday, December 10, 2010

happy holidays!

we're gearing up for a weekend of cookie baking, light site-seeing, pot chocolate (jack really calls it 'pot' chocolate), and christmas tunes. have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

gran's birthday!

gran's birthday this year was a blast! aunt laura sent out an invitation and we all gathered to have dinner, eat cupcakes, watch a private fireworks show, and trim the tree. i hope this becomes a family tradition!

grandpa set up the train around the tree - he's seriously been talking about it since halloween. jack LOVED it. he's clapping his hands here. grandpa taught him how to work the train - it was very difficult to drag him away for dinner.

aunt laura picked up a minature dumbo scene for gran's extensive disney collection - happens to be jack's favorite - he was mesmerized! unc jd also gifted a very, very neat antique mickey bobble head - again, bobble heads are jack's fav, too. wait. was it gran's birthday or jack's....

and the illegal, but always fun, fireworks show.
don't you love it?
(firework above is my favorite. below is another goodie!)

hangin' ornaments

decorating grandpa

...and loving it!
look at that little face :)

picking the perfect spot!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

thanksgiving decor

every time it's time to switch seasonal decorations, i have decorator's block. i look to my blog or past pictures, magazines, blogs, hamilton house, whereever to decide on what my plans will be for that season. soooo, if i'm going to use my own blog as a reference/inspiration, i need to update it with my seasonal decor! what we had rockin' this fall:

entry table with 'mommy's favorite pumpkins' - jack
during our visit in pennsylvania the week before halloween (post to come), i became even more obsessed with pumpkins. i love them. we took a trip to larry's produce (surprise!) for our jack-o-lantern pumpkins this year, and i picked up a few varieties in my weak attempt to caputre the pumpkin spirit of this place:

i LOVE this patch!!!!!!!! i am going to re-create with home-grown varieties next year. i've saved my favorite pumpkins to harvest seeds and may be ordering some online, too.

the very nice UPS lady told me she really looks forward to my window displays.
apparantly, i'm a regular marshall field's around here!

always a banner for our window - i usually have double-sided banners so people on the other side can enjoy them, too, but i love the phrase 'give thanks' and it was a little gift from my mom, so i went with it. it was all sorts of glittery gold on the back so even though the words weren't facing the outside, the glitter was. and who can complain about glitter?!?!
i LOVE our mantel! and since its installation in july, we've had a few decorations on it, but get ready mantel - this is just the beginning of the spirit you're about to experience in your years - the BEGINNING i tell you!
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

we got our tree!

unlike last year, we went straight to larry's, picked out a tree, got it home and up in t-minus 45 minutes:

we look creepy here, sorry about the lighting! that's our tree behind us :)
wrap it up! make it good and tight for the loooong drive home
(approx. 3 miles. we ran it in the turkey trot!)

little man insisted on 'snack!' from the taco truck. one queso-dilla please!
yeah, there's a taco truck at our christmas tree place ---- larry's produce!! what would we do without larry's....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

forgive me!

I promised to blog 3 times a week -- I have no idea how many times or even IF I've blogged this week. I have been a busy bee buried in glitter and ribbons and santas and lights. I've been preparing for a little soirée coming up soon. I promise to take a ton of pics and maybe even a video or two :). Happy Holidays!!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eavesdropping on a private phone call.

I just overheard jack talking in a quiet/sad voice... This is what he said:

Um, hi. This is jack. Yeah. So, mommy has a dangle on her hair. Yeah, doctor, you're going to have to cut it off. Ok, thanks. You, too. Bye.

Then to me:

Mommy, I'm sorry, but the doctor's going to have to cut your dangle out of your hair.

What?!?!? Does he mean tangle? Dingle? I'm crying. He's hilarious.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

like a weed.

jack's growing, that is. so, i mentioned that he 'got himself up' the day we left for our disneyland surprise. i'm one of those moms that lets things as they are unless we have to make a change. jack had been cribbing it until wednesday, the 10th. i knew this day would come, and i was/am oh! so! thankful!! that it took him allll this time to decide to 'get himself up'.

as pete woke grumpy jack up, i was doing something important (for the life of me i can't remember what now, but it was uber important). jack wanted me to get him out of his crib and i asked him to wait a minute. he did. maybe 5 minutes even. then, he said, 'i get myself up!' and walked his little self into the office. i was in shock. i interrogated pete. did you get him up? i interrogated jack. did daddy get you up? was this some not-so-funny joke?!?! how in the world did he get himself up without a peep?!?!

i got over the shock, asked pete to join me, and we gathered around the crib while i asked jack to show us how he 'got himself up'. he climbed over, and dropped off the side with absolutely no problem. i knew he was capable, deep down, but really wanted to ride the comforts (and safety and sleep!) of the crib as long as possible. after watching his skilled move, we left for our mini-vacay!

when we returned, it was time. it's such a big milestone to move your child out of a crib. jack and i both cried when we took the crib apart. pete was such a support to both of us. i just can't believe how fast jack is growing into a little boy. he's a kid now! in a big boy bed! my tears were gone the second jack displayed his love for his new bed. he jumped up and down, screaming, 'i have a big boy bed!!! it is sooooo cool!!! look, there's a car, a truck, another car, another truck!' -- he loved it! he cuddled up with his blanket and pillow with a grin from ear to ear. pete and i were so proud and prepped ourselves for the night. will he sleep in it? will he cry? be scared? try to leave his room? pull down the curtains? the bookshelf? i ran through the list - bolted to the wall, check. no cords, check. all small toys out of the room, check.

after taking down the crib and putting the big boy bed together, we went to a birthday party. with a bouncy house! our fears of no sleep were unfounded as our big boy bounced and bounced, then passed out, excited, in his big boy bed.

and you know what? he must've been ready, because we've had less nights of him waking up now than we did when he was in his crib! we are so lucky with this little guy :).

something else that might be contributing to all the sleep happening here? growth spurts! jack was comfortable wearing his 2T pants when we went to pennsylvania in october, went through 3T pants in 3 weeks, and is now rocking 4Ts. it literally happened in a month. he'll be riding big thunder mountain railroad before we know it!

i'm sure cupcakes are helping him grow, too, right?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


we are so thankful for our family, jack-attack, friends, health, a warm home, food on the table, jobs, joy, pepper&bailey, eachother... so much to be thankful for - we are so very blessed! we shared the day together as a family (morning time), as a couple (turkey trotting), with pete's family at our home (feast time!), and with my family at theirs (cold turkey sand-os and leftover pick-up! and to discuss the interesting turn of events this year -- both JD and Laura had a sig-o join the Costanzo dinner! we checked in to see if there was any gossip to share ;)!).

some pictures for our fantastic feast with grammy, pepaw, and aunt sara:grammy and jack talk veggies (jack only ate turkey & veggies!) he did have pumpkin pie for breakfast (breakfast of champions at gran & grandpa's while pete & i ran)... do you see little muffin-thing? i made a portion of our traditional welsh dressing in muffin tins. a perfect serving (don't judge if i had 2nds!), crispy on all sides but soft in the middle (dev & les, i didn't say your favorite m-word just for you!), cooked quickly - definitely doing this again!!
pepaw carving the turkey - isn't it beautiful? a 20lber cooked in about 2hours in their bbq. smoked turkey....all m, um, tender? (not sure how you two get around this word sometimes!)
bobby flay's brussel sprouts with walnut butter and pomegranate seeds (totally NEEDED to make this after seeing it on the throwdown v. pioneer woman!!). deeeeeee---lish!!!!!!
cutting the pecan pie - i was especially proud of the way it turned out this year...visually, that is. i kind of forgot to set the timer, so the insides were a little runny, but how beautiful is the top?!?! beautiful if i do say so myself!! toot-toot!

turkey trot!!

First couple 5k. Can't wait to do it again! So PROUD of you, Pete!!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

half moon bay pumpkin festival

we made it this year! loved famer john's pumpkin patch :),hung with the willis twins (austin & autumn),
played on bales of hay,
goofed around a on john deere,
expertly picked out tons o' pumpkins,
wagoned them around the patch,
enjoyed the unique squash,and watched his parents steal a self portrait.

(we really don't get many pics together, and the whole family ones were horrible - not our photographers fault, thanks, kristin!, just our inability to all look at the camera at the same time!)