Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pina Napa Valley - Employee and Volunteer Appreciation Day

On Saturday in the 100+ degree weather, Pina Napa Valley hosted their first ever Employee and Volunteer Appreciation Day BBQ. There was food (BBQ Ribs, Chicken, Hot Dogs, Grilled Veggies, salads, fruit, Corn on the Cob), drink (Beer, Wine, Water, Soda) and fun (Corn Hole, Bocce, and a water trough). Misters outside kept it bearable to play games and get food. The cellar was a welcome reprieve from the heat. The food was great and I think everyone had a great time.
Is it time yet? Cooper John waiting patiently to go to the BBQ (and see Daddy).
Cooper enjoying the water trough Grampa brought to the party for the little kids. It was the perfect sized swimming pool. (Notice that he got his hair cut on the way to the party).

The ribs were delicious. Thank you Jason for cooking for everyone (as always).

Ranndy brought Cornhole to the winery. It is a game popular in the south and goes by many names. You might know it as washers, bean bag toss, bags or baggo. It is a lawn game similar to horseshoes. You use bean bags filled with dried corn and toss them at platforms made out of plywood that have a hole cut out of them. In regulation play the platforms are 30 feet apart, you get to throw four bags four times, add up your scores and declare a winner. At PNV we estimated the distance and had a tournament with a Magnum of wine as the prize.
Ranndy our Cornhole expert.
Official Cornhole platform.
Cooper John watched intently for his opportunity to run out there and grab the bean bags.
Emma Jo and Grace watching the game from the coolness of the misters.
Grampa John C. trying his hand at the game.

Emma Jo concentrating then showing the Pina form.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Tonight we left the boys at home and the girls and I headed to an introductory Taekwondo class. Jason and I really want the girls to be filled with self-confidence and we've heard so many wonderful things about Taekwondo.

Hauth's Family Taekwondo is just down the street from our house and the owners attend our church. They offer free introductory classes and then have family classes where students of all ages can practice together. There were just the three of us (and later one little boy) in the introductory class. Emma, Grace and I had fun learning each of the stances, strikes, blocks, and a couple of kicks. We went through about a quarter of the while belt forms. We also got to kick the red pads. Emma Jo even got to lunge punch the instructor in the stomach!

We're going to go back for another introductory class next week and then decide if we want to enroll. The instructor told us that we could even bring Cooper and see if he is old enough to listen and follow instructions.

While we were gone, Jason and Cooper hung out together (one of Cooper's favorite things). Cooper loves to wear hats and Jason took these pictures of the little dude wearing Daddy's cowboy hat.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Daddy's Little Boy

For the last several weeks, Cooper has been going through a stage. The Daddy's Little Boy stage. When Jason is around Cooper wants nothing to do with anyone else. Cooper follows him around the house with arms outstretched calling "uppy, uppy, uppy dada". Jason spends a lot of time carrying the little dude around and getting very little else done. I've tried to remind Jason that in a few years Cooper won't want anything to do with cuddling and he should enjoy the time now. However it is a little tough to put together basketball hoops and prepare meals while you have a little dude in your arms.

I try to sympathize with Jason but I'm actually getting a little jealous. I wouldn't mind Cooper being hooked on Mama for a while. Sure I'll do when Daddy is gone, but when he is around I'm about as popular as chopped liver.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Emma Jo! 10 years old!

On Wednesday, Emma Jo turned 10 years old! I can't hardly believe it. I don't feel old enough to have a 10 year old daughter going into 5th Grade. She had a day full of excitement. It started off at 7am when Grampa showed up at the house. He helped the kids finish getting ready for the day and then dropped Cooper off at daycare. Then Grampa and the girls headed up to pick up Grammie. They hit Adele's for breakfast and then drove down to San Francisco for the day. Gracie excitedly reported back to me that they drove over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Once the crew got to the City, they went to the Exploratorium. Grampa chaperoned a class field trip to the Exploratorium a couple of years ago and was enthralled. He has taken the kids a couple of times since then. I think he has as fun there as they do. From what I could tell everyone enjoyed the place, especially the gift shop!

After the Exploratorium it was off to the Giant's Game. At the Giant's Game the kids had Hot Dogs and Popcorn and got Lou Seal stuffed animals. I think they might have watched a little of the game as well.

When everyone gathered back at the house, before we went to Applebee's for dinner, Emma Jo got to open presents.

The little kids got Emma Jo a popcorn maker and some movies. Emma Jo made a request months ago for an air popper and we've already had to test it out.

Grandma Bette and Grandpa Joe sent Emma a shirt from "Emma Downtown" in Oregon. Emma Jo loved the shirt (green her favorite color) and wore it to camp on Thursday.

The big excitement of the night was the new bike from Grammie and Grampa. Emma Jo has outgrown her existing bike and wanted a "big girl" bike to match her friends'. Grampa spent hours researching and finally chose a bright red, Specialized 21-speed Mountain Bike.

While Emma Jo rode her new bike, Grace and Cooper had to ride their bikes as well.

Newest Member of the Extended Family

My uncle, Ranndy, became a grandfather yesterday. Ranndy is my father's younger brother. I think it is pretty cool that Ranndy became a grandfather exactly 10 years after my father first became a grandfather.

Blake "Kosta" Barkas!
June 17th, 12:40 PM
23 inches, 9 lb 5 oz

Mother and baby are doing well. Grandpa and Grammy are ecstatic.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hot Buttered Popcorn

This weekend is Grace's ballet recital. She has been practicing since September and it is finally time. She is the most adorable puff of popcorn I have ever seen! Grace had her last practice on Thursday, in costume. I took lots of pictures. Saturday afternoon was dress rehearsal in the theatre and then her first performance was Saturday night. She did great! All of the girls remembered most of the dance and there were no tears on stage.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hot Air Balloon Classic

This morning the kids and I got up bright and early and headed across the freeway to the Wine Country Hot Air Balloon Classic. Launch time was scheduled for 6:30am, but thankfully it was a little delayed since we didn't arrive until just about 7am. We counted 20 balloons in the air at the same time. Our favorites were the Purple People Eater, Sushi a Goldfish, Bud E. Beaver, and the Energizer Bunny. The sky was beautiful with fluffy white clouds. Here are a few of our favorite pictures and a slide show of all of the pictures we took.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cooper's Tough Week

Cooper John must have known he was going to have a tough week. On Monday morning, he scared me half-to-death by not walking up at his usual time. I prefer for him to wake up around 6am but lately he has been getting up closer to 5am. Monday morning at 7am he was still asleep. Emma Jo wanted to get him when he woke up, but he didn't. Finally around 7:15 I went into his room to make sure he was still breathing. He was. We all stood around he crib and watched him. Then we tried to wake him up with no success. Then I decided to take a picture of him sleeping so soundly in his crib (don't sleeping babies just look precious?). He still didn't wake up. I finally just took him out of his crib and started changing he diaper so that we could head off to camp, daycare and work.
When we picked him up that night we discovered that he had had an accident at daycare. He was running at the park and tripped off of the concrete into some bark. The bark scratched up his face and cut his eyelid. She said that he cried when it happened, but it doesn't seem to bother him in the least.
Then Tuesday afternoon, I finally took him to the pediatrician for his 18 month checkup. It was a little late, but our appointment was rescheduled since our regular doctor had to go out on an early maternity leave. The doctor was very impressed with Cooper's development. She thought that his speech was advanced for his age "especially for being a boy". He have a vocabulary of over 50 words and is stringing 2 and 3 words together into phrases. He was weighed and measured and he is following his growth curves almost perfectly. He is 33 1/3 inches tall which is in the 75th percentile. He weighs 26lbs3oz which is near the 50th percentile. After all the fun stuff at the appointment was over the boy little guy got 4 shots. I had delayed his MMR at the 1 year appointment but I finally felt comfortable giving it to him this week. He cried for a few seconds but calmed almost immediately when I picked him up.
After the doctor's appointment, I gathered all the kids and we went to Daddy's softball game. They loved the fresh air, hanging out with friends, and running around the sidelines and playground.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Russian River Rodeo

Today we drove west and took the kids to the Russian River Rodeo. This was their 3rd ever rodeo.

We started with hot dogs. Luckily we got ours before they ran out!

Then the girls had cotton candy and popcorn.

Then they had ring pops which turned their mouths blue and purple!

The weather was beautiful. There were lots of local cowboys and cowgirls. The kids liked the bull riding, barrel racing and steer wrestling the best. Gracie loved the Rodeo Clown (Mr. Kiff, the husband of one of the teachers at our school). Cooper liked sitting in the dirt and flirting with the little girl sitting next to him. I loved spending a few hours outside in the fresh air with the whole family. It reminded me of the first year Jason and I were dating when we used to go to each of the rodeos in San Diego. In fact our first date was to a rodeo!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Little Ladies Man

Cooper John knows exactly the way to his Mommy's heart.
Last night Jason and Emma Jo were at FBC's softball game, so I was alone with Grace and Cooper. After getting Gracie safely tucked into bed I took Cooper to his room. We rocked and cuddled as I tried to get him to go to sleep. He was almost out when all of a sudden he realized he was almost asleep. He immediately squirmed his way until he was laying on my chest with his head on my shoulder. He almost fell asleep again at which point he started kissing me. He would grab my face pucker up and kiss me full on the lips. Then he would lean back, look me in the eyes, and giggle. Clearly he knew that I couldn't resist little sloppery kisses and this would surely give him more time before he had to go to sleep. I tried my best not to laugh, but a few chuckles did erupt. This continued for a few minutes until I got my self-control back and finished rocking him to sleep.
I'm trying to enjoy these little moments of his babyhood. I know how quickly he is going to be a big boy and want nothing to do with snuggling with his mommy.