Monday, December 29, 2008

Wii had a great Christmas!

This was one of the best Christmas's yet! When we got home Thursday night, Jason and I both commented on what a nice day it was. We actually had time to drink a glass (or 2) of wine and chat with the adults at Mom & Dad's on Christmas Day instead of having to entertain/chaperon the children all day. I guess that is a benefit of the kids being older and there being more children to play together. Emma Jo and Grace loved playing with Mays and Dallas. Cooper did too when he wasn't trying to steal their toys.

On Christmas Eve we headed to the winery for a nice family gathering complete with a make-your-own pizza bar. Everyone was well-behaved and the kids were exhausted a ready for bed as soon as we got home. I think the gymnastics camp earlier in the day, and anticipation of Santa coming that night helped to make bedtime smoother for the girls.

Christmas morning the kids were excited to see that Santa had visited during the night. They had been worried that Cooper would wake up and scare Santa away. Everyone was happy that Cooper chose to re-start sleeping through the night on Christmas Eve. There were presents galore on Christmas morning. Some of the favorites were Emma Jo's Ugg boots and beanie hats (3 in all), Grace's matching outfits for her and Alice, Mommy's worm composter and the Nintendo Wii for the whole family.

Everyone enjoyed spending time together as a family over the 4 day weekend. Some of the highlights were playing Dance, Dance Revolution with John and Tracy, going to see the Tales of Desperadoes, playing with the twins, and of course, playing with the Wii.

I'll post photos later this week. And maybe even finally finish our Christmas card.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas here we come!

The shopping is all done. The tree is decorated. The lights are strung and the presents are WRAPPED. We are ready for Christmas!

Mom and Dad generously offered to watch the kids overnight on Saturday so that Jason and I could finish our shopping and wrapping. We had a quick trip to Target (I couldn't believe all the cars in the parking lot and the empty shelves in the store). Then we had a great dinner at Willi's Wine Bar in Wikiup and finally we wrapped presents.

Every year I say that I'm going to start the shopping after Halloween and be done the weekend after Thanksgiving, but it seems like every year I don't start until the weekend after Thanksgiving and finish the weekend before Christmas. Usually the wrapping isn't done until Christmas Eve, so I'm pretty happy right about now.

I'm so happy that we finally had a chance to eat at Willi's. I've wanted to go there for years, but we've never found the opportunity. They feature small plates and great wines. Jason and I enjoyed crab tacos, flatbreads, Filet Mignon sliders and short ribs. Each was very good although the short ribs were a little peppery. I ordered a flight of Chardonnay and it was fun to have 3 different 2 ounce pours to sample. Each had a unique favor and I really enjoyed trying something different.

The only thing we haven't finished for Christmas this year is cards. I never captured a picture I was happy enough with to publish as a Christmas Card. I've decided to stop obsessing. Maybe we'll send out New Year's cards instead...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Preschool Christmas Show

Grace Louise had a Christmas show last night. She was absolutely adorable. She has been practicing for weeks and knows all the words to all the songs. I'll try posting videos of a couple of the songs. Here is the first one:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1 year update

Cooper John is a walker! He can easily walk wherever he wants to go. He will occassionally crawl, but is doing so less and less. Cooper has 9 teeth and is getting 3 more molars! He is also starting to vocalize quite a bit. He can say Mommy, Emma, Dada, bye, hi and no-no. He will occasionally wave good-bye and even blow kisses. He loves to clap! He was 23 pounds on his first birthday which puts him right around the 50th percentile. He was at the 50th for height and almost the 90th for head circumference. He is wearing 18 month clothes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tree

Tonight we finally got our Christmas Tree. It was fun to use my new camera and even more fun to see Cooper's amazement at the lights on the Town Green. The girls can't wait to put the lights and ornaments on the tree. Hopefully we can do that on Wednesday night since tomorrow we have Grace's Christmas Program at Preschool.

We survived!

It has been one tough weekend. I don't think we have had everyone in our family healthy since Halloween. This past weekend it was Jason and I who were sick. Thursday was Jason's birthday and he decided to come home early from work. I thought it was coming home to celebrate, but it turned out he was feeling rotten and took a nap. I was feeling about the same but had tons of work to do with the holiday shipping deadline rapidly approaching, so it was a full day of work for me. Friday I was off since Connie was headed to Lake Tahoe for the weekend. Cooper and I did a little Christmas shopping, went to his 1 year checkup (a little late) and then came home for naps. By Friday afternoon I was feeling okay, but Jason was still not feeling well.

Saturday was a quiet day. The kids and I played and got ready for the Christmas tree while Daddy took it easy in bed. In the afternoon, Emma Jo went to the Girl Scouts Elves Workshop while Grace and I got our nails painted. It is always so fun to have one-on-one time with the kids. It doesn't happen nearly often enough and whenever it does I wonder why we don't take the time to do it more often. Grace and I had a lot of fun together. Saturday night the kids and I had pizza and tried to stay quiet so that hopefully Daddy would be better by morning.

Everyone was feeling a little better by Sunday morning. Daddy was up and cooking breakfast and then it was off to the mall. We did all of our shopping for gifts that need to be mailed and came home a started wrapping. Daddy did retreat to the bedroom while we were wrapping, to take a nap and watch some football. We had planned on getting our Christmas tree on Sunday but unfortunately it rained and rained and Cooper took an extra long nap in the afternoon. Those two things made us delay and hopefully get it this evening.

Grammie and Grampa came over for dinner Sunday night, and brought Papa Murphys (thanks!). It was nice to see them and relaxing to sit around and talk about the family and holidays. The girls each sang some songs and showed them their favorite Christmas ornaments. Cooper showed them his moves with his newest "head dance" and clapping. Grammie and Grampa also brought over an early Christmas present for Mommy, a new camera! My old one was been showing its age lately and I'm so excited to try out the new one. Hopefully there will be no more yellow blurs on our pictures! Grandpa picked out the Nikon Coolpix S60. It looks like a great little camera with more features than I could ever use, such an improvement over my Sony SureShot I got when Gracie was born.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Official Weekend of the Holiday Season

This weekend kicked off the Christmas season for our family. Friday was the big Silver Oak family party. Then Saturday we went on the Polar Express.

In celebration of the completion of the Oakville rebuild, Silver Oak hosted the family Holiday Party in the new winery. The place was beautiful with white lights, red linens, a huge white tent and plenty of fabulous wine. There were activities for the children and a great buffet and dancing for the adults.

Our kids weren't sure what they were most excited about, staying in a hotel, getting their first gifts of the season at the party, or riding on the bus to the winery. The girls were beautiful in their Christmas dresses. Cooper was very handsome in his plaid shirt and sweater vest. He did well at the party but finally pooped out and fell asleep in Jason's arms.

Mommy had too much going on watching the kids and enjoying the party that I forgot to take a family picture.

On Saturday we joined other families from WCA's Girl Scout troups and went on the Polar Express. We departed from Old Town Sacramento on historic train cars. We travelled all the way to the North Pole and saw Santa and his workshop. Santa even came on-board and handed out bells to all who Believe.

Sorry, no good pictures of Grace. She has decided that she doesn't like to have her picture taken.

On the Polar Express Cooper John discovered that he can have a huge audience when he claps. He had a blast clapping for each and everyone who would watch. It is fun to see how people of all ages get a smile from a cute little kid.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Season

I can't believe Thanksgiving is over and it is already Christmas! The past few years I've been a little bit of a Grinch about Christmas, but this year I am getting excited. The season started with Cooper's First birthday and a great Thanksgiving.

On Saturday, Joe and Bette flew down from Portland morning to come to Cooper's party. It was great spending a couple of days with them and I think they were amazed at how big Cooper is. I was happy that stranger anxiety didn't set in and Cooper let them hold him by the second day. On Sunday we went to Santa Rosa shopping and to lunch. The mall was surprisingly empty but the deals were aplenty. I was able to get the girls shoes and sweaters for the big Silver Oak Holiday party on Friday. I also got a few terrific little "big boy" outfits for Cooper John. Emma found the cutest black velvet ballet flats which she really wants to wear everyday. Can you believe she wears a ladies size 7! She is definitely turning into a little lady!

We all had lunch at Tex Wasabi's, Guy Fieri from the Food Network's BBQ Sushi restaurant. Joe and Bette were excited to find Fried Baloney on the menu. Everything we ordered was delicious (I'll trust Joe about the Baloney).

After lunch it was back to the mall to look for a dress for me. We went to Macy's and I found a great dress for 60% off! I couldn't pass that up. I also got a couple pairs of shoes, one for work and one for the party.

On our way out of the mall we noticed there was no line for Santa. Grace asked if she could go talk to him. She walked right up to him, climbed up on his lap and told him what she wanted for Christmas... matching outfits for her and Alice, and a toy with Ariel.

I'm looking forward to the start of the Christmas season with the Silver Oak Holiday party on Friday and the Polar Express on Saturday. Now I just have to find the time for Christmas pictures and Holiday cards.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

1st Birthday Party

Happy Birthday, Cooper!

Today we celebrated Cooper's first birthday.

He liked his presents, but he wasn't sure about how to open them. He seemed unsure if he was allowed to rip the papers. When we served cake he wasn't sure if he was supposed to play with it like play-dough or eat it.

Emma Jo & Daddy made a custom Baseball cake. Daddy said he was being the "Ace of Cakes".

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Little Dude.
Happy Birthday, Little Dude.
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday,
Happy Birthday, Little Dude.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reflections on Cooper's First Year

As I rocked Cooper this morning at 4am I was reflecting on his first year and was in disbelief that he will be one in just a few days. It really is true what they say, time sure does fly, and they will only be little once.

Cooper John has induced a wide range of emotions in me.

Shock that morning in April when I discovered that we were pregnant, again.
Joy the afternoon in July with Jason and Mom as we watched our healthy little boy on the ultrasound machine.
Worry in early November when I discovered I was 4 cm dilated and Mom and Dad were on their way to Mexico.
Fear at my routine 37 week appointment when my midwife sent me immediately to the hospital because my blood pressure at skyrocketed (and Mom and Dad were still in Mexico).
Concern in the middle of my labor when we discovered Cooper was giving a "high-five" and trying to be born hand first.
Love in the afternoon on November 26th when I first got to hold my little boy.
Amazement that same evening as all three of my little miracles were gathered in the hospital room.

These days I feel:

Frustration when Cooper pulls everything out of the drawer for the 10th time.
Peace when all three kids are asleep and I can have quiet time with Jason.
Happiness when the kids are playing nicely together.
Stress as I attempt to get everyone off to daycare, school and work in the morning.
Blessed that I have three little miracles in my family.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Double Ear Infection

Cooper John has been a miserable little boy for the last week and a half. We had thought it was due to the first year molars that are trying to come through. His gums have been hugely inflamed. Then he developed a cold. Finally Monday night he couldn't sleep and just cried and cried for hours. After being up more than half the night with him, I decided to take him to the doctor. Our pediatrician has morning "drop-in" hours where you don't have to call first for an appointment. We saw Dr. Smith and were diagnosed with a double ear infection. Cooper was able to start on antibiotics by 9:30 am and was already feeling better by noon. Last night we had a bit of a cough, but it was nice to have my happy, smiling boy back.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Emma's pictures

Here are a few pictures that Emma Jo took with her camera.
Paella from the Silver Pass event at Pina Napa Valley
View from the parking lot at Pina Napa Valley

Singing at Church

Grace's Pre-K class got to sing at the big church this morning. She was so excited to get to wear her Christmas dress early! She was a quite a site in her silver and black lace and taffeta Christmas dress with her bright pink crocs and her preschool chapel shirt:). I was worried she would be scared on stage, but she did great! Jason made a couple of movies of the songs. Sorry about the quality, but we just used my little camera instead of the video camera.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Here are a few pictures from the Silver Pass event last weekend.

First Steps!

Cooper John took his first steps today!

In the morning I heard Emma Jo calling out for me to come see Cooper in the family room. She said he had just taken about 5 steps! I rushed out, but he wouldn't walk for me.

Later we went to visit with Grandma Bobbye. While we were there Cooper took a handful of steps a few different times. He is definitely not walking yet, and prefers to crawl, but he has officially taken his first steps.

I bet he'll be walking by his birthday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Long, Long Night

Poor Cooper John has been fighting to get his molars for over a week now. We've had a fever, a bite and lots and lots of drool. Last night was the worst. He finally let me look in his mouth and there appears to be a blood blister where his upper left molar should be. He was up and down most of the night and got the best rest sleeping in my arms in his Lazy-Boy chair. Hopefully it will finally pop through today and he can get some relief. Then there will only be three more...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Walking Soon?

Cooper has been standing on his own all weekend! He can even stand and play with a toy. I think we will have steps soon!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carving Pumpkins & Vince Gill

Last night, Grammie and Grampa came over for pumpkin carving for Halloween. Each of the girls drew their jack-o-lantern faces all by themselves. This year was only the first or second time that Emma Jo was willing to get her hands dirty and reach inside the pumpkin to scoop out the guts. Grace wasn't up for that adventure and requested gloves. We didn't have any gloves so she recruited Daddy and Grampa to help her.

Cooper was more interested in trying to eat his pumpkin.

After pumpkin carving was over, Jason and I went to see Vince Gill perform an acoustical concert. Although it was a long, late night, we had a great time. He gave a great performance with lots of stories about his family and his songs. Many thanks to Grammie and Grampa who came and watched the kids while we had a night out.

Monday, October 27, 2008


About 5 minutes after this play, Emma Jo had the best play of her soccer career. She didn't score, but she controlled the ball and brought it all the way down the field even using her body to shield the ball from the defenders.

This isn't the best clip, but it is all I have. We thought Grandma Bette would especially like watching Emma Jo play. Emma is number 13.

More pictures

Grace Louise posing at the soccer game.

Cooper getting into mischief on his wagon at the soccer game. Notice that he has his team shirt on supporting the Cool Cats.

Cooper John in the new sink at Grammie & Grampa's little guest house. Daddy has been working on building all new cabinets for the renovated kitchen.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another Great Weekend

We just finished another great weekend. Emma Jo had three soccer games, 1 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Gracie and I missed the game on Saturday since we had a memorial service to go to, but Jason reported that the Cool Cats played very well. They came together and really played like a cohesive team. Sunday morning we played really well but it was obvious it was the end of a long weekend of soccer and our girls were tuckered out. Next weekend is our last game of the season and the end-of-season party.

Cooper worked this weekend to perfect his cheesy grin. I'll post a picture when I get a good one. He flashes smile with all eight teeth showing then tilts his chin back and almost laughs. He usually breaks it out when he knows he is doing something wrong as if he is saying "can you really be mad at a face like this?"

This week we are gearing up for Halloween. Grace is going to be Minnie Mouse, Cooper is a lion and Emma Jo is going to be a gumball machine. The girls are having special parties at school to celebrate the occasion. Grace's preschool is having a Pajama party for "P" week and Emma Jo's school is having a Harvest Party where the kids can dress up has farmers.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Silver Pass Weekend - Piña Napa Valley

Piña Napa Valley announced yesterday that they are again participating in the Silver Pass Weekend with the Silverado Trail Wineries Association. The event happens every year over the Veteran's Day holiday weekend. It is always a great event with lots of wine and food. Usually guests can talk one of the brothers, or winemaker Anna, into barrel samples and even older vintages. I've heard rumors that Jason will be making his famous Paella again. The event happens on both Saturday, November 8th and Sunday, November 9th. The kids and I will probably only attend one day, not sure yet which.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Check it out!

Ranndy has started a new blog. It is all about the wine industry and growing up in the Napa Valley. You can find it at There is also a link in my "favorite blogs" to the right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Knock on Wood

He did it! For the first time in over a week, Cooper slept through the night last night. I'm not sure what has been going on lately, but it sure hasn't been sleep. Lately he has been waking up once or twice a night. Friday night was the worst when Jason and Cooper had a few hours of bonding time in the La-Z-Boy chair. Last night Cooper went to sleep around 6:30pm, woke up around 8:30pm and then slept through until 5:30am. I sure do feel better after a good nights rest!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grace's Class Songs

Last year in Preschool, Grace was in the bunny class. Her teacher, Mrs. Eufusia, taught the class the Bunny Song. We especially like the "potton tail".

Here is Grace's commentary:This year I'm in the turtle class. Mrs Winter taught me the turtle song. Mrs. Eufusia taught me the finger bunny song. I love school since I moved to a different class. Gabi and Matthew are my favorite friends and I like to play with them everyday.

Pumpkin Patch - 2008

On Saturday, the whole family went to the pumpkin patch. Emma Jo really wanted to go in the corn maze but it isn't open yet this season. Gracie just wanted to go in the pirate ship jumpy house. Grammie and Grampa joined us and we took lots of pictures!

Each of the kids got to pick their own pumpkins. Cooper chose a small white one. It is just about a match to a baseball.

Grace chose the perfect sized one that she could carry herself.
Emma Jo's pumpkin is just the right shape for carving.