A blog for all that goes on in our family.


Sleepy Josie

This was taken almost two months ago by John and I just found it for the first time tonight. So sweet!

Anna Turned Three

Well, it’s been a few months now, but at the end of August we celebrated our big girl’s third birthday. We had a great time with family and a few neighbors. Brats and hot dogs on the grill were enjoyed, rockets were decorated and launched (with only a few mishaps…), and moon and rocket cakes were devoured. Presents were also a big hit, as expected. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us to celebrate our beautiful Anna Kateri’s birth!

Best quote of the day: Showing Anna her cake for the first time, she said, “It’s Astronaut Genna!” Um, no, honey, that’s you. Total picture fail. But sweet that she was excited her cousin was on her birthday cake!

Anna is quite the dramatic little girl, and also very creative. She is constantly making up songs and stories to tell us and anyone else who will listen. She makes us laugh every day and is starting to be a really sweet big sister, which includes having a ton of patience with Josie when Josie likes to, well, “hug” (read: tackle) her every five minutes. It is so fun to watch her learn new things, and while we are excited to continue to watch her grow, we are  also trying to hang on to these last few days of innocent toddlerness, which we know will be gone before we are ready.

We love you so much, our sweetest pea! P1060627



The Best Things in Life


Alternate title: Why I don’t blog as often as I’d like

  •  Josephine’s smooth, soft, warm cheeks when she wakes up from her nap.
  • Anna’s slow breathing, angelic face, and arm around Pooh Bear as she sleeps through my kisses when I get home from work at night.
  • Josie’s squeals of delight and “dah dee!” when she hears our side screen door open, signaling Daddy’s return home.
  • Anna’s sweet wording of simple phrases, such as, “I think I would like to sit next by you.”
  • Walking onto the sunlit porch and finding Josie giving her baby a bottle and some snuggles and kisses.
  • Anna enthusiastically saying “Peace be wif you!” at Mass, then systematically shaking everyone’s – everyone’s – hand.
  • Super tight little-girl hugs around my legs and “I love you, Mommy” when I least expect it – and most need it.
  • Watching two half-naked toddlers “dance crazy” around the bathroom as we finish up bath time.
  • Little fingers intertwined with mine or John’s as we walk down to the park together.
  • Shrieks of joy as they bounce and tumble together on Anna’s bed before nap time each day.
  • Watching them learn, imagine, question, and explore. Everything.
  • Deep belly toddler giggles and laughs while their daddy lets them climb and jump on him. (Really, any time they’re playing with their daddy!)
  • Quiet time with my sweet, loving husband at night in our little upstairs “apartment.”
I know that I do my share of complaining. But when it comes down to it, I know I am right where I am supposed to be. And it is so, so good.

Our baby isn’t our baby anymore

Sprinkler time! Turns out I'm not actually a huge fan of water unless I'm drinking it or having a bath.

Sprinkler time! Turns out I’m not actually a huge fan of water unless I’m drinking it or having a bath.

Little baby Josephine has entered the toddler stage. She took her first steps right after her birthday and officially began choosing to walk (more than crawl or walk on her knees) around the end of June.

At her 15 month appointment, her weight was 19.4 lbs (5th percentile), her length was in the 25th percentile, and her head slipped back under the 3rd percentile. She has four teeth and just a couple words (hi, bye-bye, nigh-nigh, dada, Anna), but still manages to be very talkative.

Unfortunately, one of her new favorite games is to see how hard she can pull her sister’s hair. Anna puts up with a surprising amount of harassment from Josie lately, and actually tries to play with her instead of the typical hitting or kicking that usually happened if Josie came within 10 feet of her. There have been impromptu hugs, kisses, and cuddles from both sisters to each other, which melts my heart, and I’m glad that Anna seems to be enjoying Josie’s company more and more.

Josie is definitely a little ham and a cuddlebug. She will give you the goofiest grins and faces just to make you laugh! She is also a big fan of hugs and kisses right now. In fact, during dinner a few nights ago she kept patting John’s arm and he couldn’t figure out what she wanted until she leaned forward – she just wanted to give him a kiss! Apparently this has happened a few times to him, but it has yet to happen to Mommy. She does seem to be a “daddy’s girl,” as she loves kissing and hugging him, and gets ridiculously excited when he comes home – or even comes down the stairs!

Our little “blueberry” (Anna’s nickname for her) doesn’t have much hair – still – but she does have the sweetest little curls at the back of her head. I have hope that the rest of it will be curly too… someday.

It’s so fun to watch her grow into her little (big?) personality. She appears to have a lot to say, so once she has a good vocabulary – watch out, world (or maybe, more appropriately, big sister)!

To curl or not to curl? We will wait and see...

To curl or not to curl? We will wait and see…


Welcome, Ellie Jo!


Our newest little niece (and first on Sara’s side of the family) has arrived! Ellie Jo was born on Thursday, July 18, and is already stealing hearts. She was 6 lbs, 3 oz, and surprised everybody by being born three hours away from home, three and a half weeks early. We’re so excited to welcome her to the family and can’t wait to see her again soon.


Anna holding baby Ellie



John and Anna have taken to flying rockets lately. Filled with just water and pressurized air (from a bike pump), the rocket (pop bottle) flies surprisingly fast and well off John’s homemade PVC launch pad.

These photos are from our first official launching (we don’t count our back yard trials), when our friends Paul and Taryn met us at a park near the Mississippi with their three kids. We had a lot of fun and have since launched a few more times. They have been having so much fun, I expect there to be parachutes and boosters by the end of next summer!

Audrey and Josie enjoy the excitement (and maybe the snacks had something to do with it, too).

Audrey and Josie enjoyed the excitement (and maybe the snacks had something to do with it, too).


John and Paul fill the rocket with some water.

John and Paul fill the rocket with some water.


It's Max's turn to pull the (neon pink) string to launch the rocket!

It’s Max’s turn to pull the (neon pink) string to launch the rocket!


The three older kids would sprint off every time the rocket was launched, just to go pick it up and bring it back. (I'm pretty sure Max always won.)

The three older kids would sprint off every time the rocket was launched, just to go pick it up and bring it back. (I’m pretty sure Max always won.)


Anna watches the boys start to pick up. Time to go home!

Anna watches as the boys start to pick up. Time to go home!

A Worm and a Scream

These two things are, surprisingly, not related. Unless you count happy screaming, then, yes, they are very much related. And actually, it’s not really a worm, but… it’s still very entertaining!

Here are two fun videos from yesterday:


For this one, the girls had to be slightly prompted to continue what they were doing before the camera came out, but they jump right back in with enthusiasm.

Mother’s Day

We had a really nice Mother’s Day, thanks to my sweet husband, his brother, and his dad. The family all went to Mass together, then came to our home for a big brunch and some playtime at the park (where I am pretty sure John and Mike had the most fun).

I am so blessed to share my days with such a beautiful, loving, fun family – and I am ever thankful for our two children in Heaven and our two adorable, silly little monkeys I get to see every day.

Mothers Day 2013

The Circus Artist

Anna was lucky enough to be taken to the circus with Grandpa Rob and Grandma Kay a few weeks ago, and she LOVED it.  Elephants and baby elephants pretending to sleep? Check. Trapeze artists and juggling? Check. Alone time with Grandpa and Grandma? Double check!

Apparently it still stands out in her mind, because while she was playing with her dollhouse a few days ago, this is what I found. Note the little pink doll (named “Baby Gosie”).

Baby Gosie Acrobatics

I walked in, Anna looked up at me and said, “Baby Gosie is an acrobat!”


One Year Milestones

Well, Josephine’s first birthday has come and gone. (*tear!*) As promised, here is all of her “baby book” information:

19.2 pounds (20th percentile)

28.75″ length (25th percentile)


16.75″ head circumference (still 3rd percentile)


She has been cruising along furniture for a couple months now, and can stand unsupported for as long as she wants. The big news (for us) is that she’s started taking a few tentative steps when strongly encouraged by her parents. A few times, just this week, she has even taken a few steps and then stopped, not falling over at the end (a big improvement). I think it will still be quite some time before she’s really a “toddler,” but with a big sister who can jump and run circles around her, Josephine may just surprise us.


There are no words yet, but Josie makes the signs for “all done,” “more,” and “please”… even if she doesn’t always know exactly what she wants. (And let me tell you, proud mama to pretending-to-be-impressed reader, her “please” sign is the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen!)


She’s been clapping for a few months, and she also has been making elephant noises for a month. She has just started saying “ah, ah” when you ask her what a puppy says, and occasionally will stick her tongue out for you if you ask what a lizard does. I know, exciting, right?!


Still just two teeth on the bottom. Someday, little one, you will be able chew your food like a *real* girl…


As for some fun notes on our sweet girl, she loves face-planting into any soft thing around (blankets, pillows, Anna). She will sometimes gives hugs and kisses when asked, although lately she’s much too busy to do such silly things. (Sad day for Mommy.) She’s also learning to pull the heartstrings a bit: when I say “No” very sternly to her – like when she’s going towards the toilet while I’m helping Anna wash her hands – she will hide her eyes and Melt. Down. Complete laying-on-the-floor-bawling-because-oh-no-Mommy-said-something-not-so-nice-to-me. I find it quite amusing and sad at the same time. And finally, she loves to color! But you still have to watch her so she doesn’t devour the crayon with the two teeth she does have.


Gosie Girl, you seem to be growing up quickly, and I love watching you interact with your sister and learn and explore new things. I’m excited to see your personality emerge more, while still wanting to hold on to this precious time when you’re not a baby anymore but also not quite a toddler. God has given us you, a cuddly, smily, beautiful child who fills our house with the occasional tears and many giggles. We love you, sweet Josephine!


Miss Josephine at one month old

Miss Josephine at one month old


Josie at six months

Josie at six months


One year old

One year old!