Saturday, December 12, 2009

Explanation Coming

In repsonse to Kyle's comment, I will compose a post to explain how Michael Franti's "Say Hey" takes me back to some wonderful times but not right now. After this weekend passes I will be one happy lady (not to mention a lot less busy) with time to write the post. Until then Kyle (and anyone else who's curious), know that's it's in the works.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Say Hey

Heard this song on the radio last week and loved it. I then heard a interview with Michael Franti, the singer/songwriter on NPR about the song and the video. I checked it out this morning and was transported to another time and place. Brings back such memories...

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I've decided that today is the day that I return to the land of blogging. My kitchen is a mess right now from breakfast, but hey something's gotta give. These days blogging is kinda low on the priority list, so I've decided to change priorities (at least for today).

First of all, can you believe that it's 12 degrees right now? What??? Yesterday I took the kids to run some errands and was almost blown over by the wind. Running from the car to the storefront was a bit like those prairie stories when people would get caught in winter storms and perished 20 feet from home. But, the good news is we made it and I'm alive to tell the story.

After Thanksgiving, Christmas-Concert-Craziness 2009 commenced and so far I've been successful at keeping atleast my nose above the water. Last week I was a soloist in The Bach Society's annual From the Garden Live broadcast on Classic 99 (most likely our last due to the sale of the station- booooo) and Tuesday I was interviewed for this segment on KSDK. A little bit of holiday 'cheese' for you. Seriously though, it was fun and I scored two free tickets to our Candelight Concert (sorry, I've already given them away!). This week I have rehearsals each night for Handel's Messiah with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and Orchestra (performances Fri/Sat/Sun) and Sunday I have a double header between the Symphony and the Masterworks Chorale Christmas Concert (you've officially gotten your fill of onomatopoeia in this post). After this jammed packed week, that leaves the Candelight Concert next Tuesday and then it's bonvoyage for the Southern Regions to visit family for Christmas. All I want for Christmas this year is for December 22nd to arrive.

I missed my opportunity to post something for Eva's one year check-up so I'll make up for that now: weight 10th %, height 25th %, head 80th % (yowza- let's blame this one on Rodney). She's talking like crazy. She adds new words everyday (today she said 'Go Che', her first 2 word combo). Looks like head size is not the only thing in which she takes after her brother.

Not much to report with Will other than we're pretty sure he has asthma. Will's been in a big boy bed since Halloween and that's going really well. They sleep in the same room at night but Eva's in the pack 'n play for naps in our room still. It's a good arrangement.

I'll leave you with some amazing photos that my friend, Marisa took. She is a promising new photographer with a blossoming business and I am so excited for her. Please visit her website and check out her amazing holiday promotion. I LOVE these pictures...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

To the Grandparents and Great Grandparents

Video time.

The first is a capturing of Eva's first clear word (previously mentioned) taken the night she said it (that's why I sound so dorkily excited). For some reason I had her repeat it like 5 thousand times.

The second is of Will dancing due to his overwhelming emotional state in response to the timer going off for lunch. Translation: "Yay for the lunch." then "I'm all done."

Thursday, November 5, 2009


On Halloween, our baby girl turned one! I really can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday she was hooked up to tubes and machinery to monitor her delicate state, being born 6 weeks premature. Now she is completely healthy and thriving, matching her brother developmentally in nearly every way.

It's funny how now that she's reached the milestone of turning one, she's doing so many new things, almost as if to live up to her new age. For example, just last week she took eight consecutive steps (Gma and Gpa got to witness this on Skype- unfortunately Daddy was out of the room :(), she said her first distinguishable word last night in the bathtub ('go') and today she pointed for the first time. She also plays peek-a-boo on her initiation, claps and makes her voice mimic a "yay," clicks her tongue, and crinkles up her nose with a big cheesy smile when she's trying to be cute. She has 4 teeth with 2 more pushing through and is a tiny girl (she wore Will's first Halloween costume as a one year old- he was 5 months old). I love her more than words can express.

We had a great time celebrating Eva's birthday with our good friends Jess and Evie, who turned two the same day. Thanks to Susan and Brent, I didn't have to clean like a mad woman before the party! Thanks for hosting, guys =).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Check It

Remember that one post a while back when I mentioned that I'd been staring at my calendar a lot? Well, a friend today wanted details thinking it was something more glamorous than the truth, so I've decided to explain lest anyone else out there is thinking that I'm pregnant or something.

I decided that a photo (albeit blurry) was the best way to explain. Basically I was bracing myself for this craziness:

Pink= voice lessons, Orange= Bach Society, and Yellow= Symphony Chorus. These past few days I've been able to come for air, just in time for Eva's birthday party and Halloween.

Novemeber will be a more "normal" month, even though I have a few Octoberlike bad-boys left before summer hits. Here's a shot of Turkey month:

December will got back to relative craziness, but nothing like October. October takes the cake, so to speak ;).

Sunday was the first day in almost a month that I got to spend time with my family with no agenda. Here's what we did with our time:

[Once again, sorry for the blurriness. I've discovered that the pictures show up on my computer fairly clear but then blur-up when posted on Blogger. Also, the last two photos were taken at dusk and I'm no expert photographer!]

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Last year we didn't make it to the pumkin patch because our own little pumpkin, Eva was being born. So, this year we are happy that we made it because the day was absolutely beautiful. It was about 68 degrees and sunny, perfect weather to visit a little place called Stuckmeyer's Farm in Fenton. Nestled in the ozarks, it was a cute little place. There was a gigantic pumkin patch, picnic tables for lunch, hayrides, a petting zoo, a mini-corn maze, and a really cool wooden play-area. The best thing about it was the lack of people (I'm assuming because it was earlier in the day and a weekday).

They had a gigantic stash of Radio Flyer wagons for the patrons to cart children and pumkins. There was no charge for using these, as well as no charge for entrance. Score 2 for Stuckmeyer's.

The Great Pumkin Hunt

"How 'bout these?"
Dum Ditty Dum

She Ain't Heavy- She's got two pumkins...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So Fast

Yesterday, Will picked his nose and ate it. Last week, he held his blankie up to his body and declared "Mom, look at me. I'm a woman!" The other day, he picked up his fallen Little Tykes basektball goal and said to Eva, "I'll move it for you, sweetie pie." [parroting his father's pet name for Eva.] Today at the zoo he had full conversations with Caden Wayman (our godson and fellow 2 yr. old) about lunch and which animals were his favorites, and yesterday in the car he told me about a picture he had made on the computer with Mike and Kendra when they watched him the other day (he explained every detail and- I saw the picture, only he didn't know it- he explained it perfectly). How is it that he is growing up at breakneck speed? Can't I just slow things down a little bit?

To be honest, I don't really want to slow things down. It's fun seeing the developement take place. Also, it makes me laugh and laughing is good. But it sure is mind numbing to watch him turn into someone different (new and improved at times, other times, notsomuch) almost overnight. How did he pick up on that so fast? or Where in the world did he get that? are frequent thoughts jumbling around in my befuddled brain. And all my brain can say back is "C'mon, Gina. Keep up the pace. This is nothing- only the beginning." To which I reply "Alas brain, you are right." [note: I don't usually say 'alas' but I also don't really carry on complete dialogues with my brain, so just go with it.]

I have a feeling that this is going to be a recurring theme for some time to come. Maybe this is just what being a parent is like. The fact that something you made can become it's own independent creature, with it's own thoughts and feelings and personality is difficult to grapple with at times. But it's also one of the most exciting things I have yet to experience in my lifetime. And in the midst of dirty diapers, constant laundry, teething, and time-outs, that excitement is like a drug that I can't get enough of.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Already

I really can't believe that yesterday was the first day of fall. This summer flew by, let me tell you. I've been spending quite a bit of time gazing at my calendar these days (I'll go more into that later) and am shocked that it is almost October. In just a month it will be ONE YEAR since our little Eva decided that it was time to be born! WHAT?!?

Eva is growing like crazy and learning new things all the time. Physically her new tricks are clapping (a few weeks now) and waving (newly acquired). She is a happy girl. This past Sunday in church she laughed through the whole last part of the service at seemingly nothing. As I've mentioned before, she loves her brother and one of the fun things they get to do together is "jump." Will gets on the futon (the only piece of furniture where jumping is allowed) and Eva stands on the floor holding the edge and they go crazy. Recently, Rodney said the word "jump" and Eva started bouncing up and down on his lap. She is a good sleeper, taking two naps a day but also she's able to skip it or catch a quick one while we're out and still sleep later in the day.

Will is still a sweet natured boy, but is definitely testing limits lately. He's decided to see what will happen if he hits Eva (sometimes when he thinks we're not looking) and "tackling" has become his favorite pastime. "Mom, tackle me!" is one of his favorite phrases along with "I fumbled the ball!" as he throws himself to the floor [today he tripped and fell pretty hard and through tears said "I fumbled the ball!" I had to laugh as I held him.] We're spending more time in time-out, but it's really still managable. We're pretty lucky. Now, sleeping and eating are two different stories, but you've heard enough about that!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pic of the Week

I've been fruitlessly trying to post a super-cute video of Will and Eva playing and giggling together for the past 3 days now, so I'll just give up my dreams move on. Instead I will post a picture of sir William from last week.

The other day we were heading out for the morning and I let Will play in the back yard so I could finish getting us packed up. When I came outside I took a quick scan of the backyard expecting to see him playing with the ball he had when he first went out and was puzzled when I didn't see him. Then, I saw him.

Sitting in the chair. Reading a book that I didn't even realize he had brought outside with him. He even stayed a minute while I ran in to get the camera. Love it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Her World...

Having a crawler in the house again reminds me of just how precarious this stage of development can be. Atleast with toddlers the world is less about discovering every single shiny and potentially dangerous thing in their line of sight (and putting it in their mouths), but about balls and playing with the dog and books and toys. Also, toddlers can avoid getting hands and legs covered in dirt and crumby stuff when you don't have time to vacuum and sweep every 2 hours.

So it seems we are back into baby-proofing mode. Due to the fact that we moved downstairs after Will was past this stage, everyday it seems I have to find new ways to make this apartment a good place for a crawler. Take the dog's water and food dishes for example. When we lived upstairs the dog dishes were conveniently locked behind a baby gate in the pantry. Downstairs there is no pantry, so I find myself continuously putting them up high when Che is not using them. And let me tell you, when I forget Eva sure does make the most of that oversight.

Aside from the challenge of having a crawler in the house once again, It's been so cute to watch Eva discover her environment. She's especially interested in what her brother is doing. The absolute best thing is when Will and Eva start to laugh at one another, the very first signs of playing together. We've been trying to catch this on video with little luck. For now I'll post a video of them sharing a good laugh as their dad reads a book.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Projects Completed

After 2 long months, the house projects involving the mold removal have been completed. Coupled with the awesome feeling of being back in our own home after a month away is the great feeling that comes with getting these projects behind us. Here are some photos of the completed areas and if you want to see some before shots (minus the basement) go here.

Project #1: This is just a small portion of our basement, but the section that holds our new organizing shelf. The new system along with the extensive cleaning that was done has made this area of our home a place I'm no longer scared of.

Project #2: We were approved for a 5 year forgiveable loan based on our income that is meant for environmental hazards in your home (and some other things) like mold, so we were able to apply that money towards contractors for this project. I decided to play around with color and am happy with the outcome.

Project #3: Kitchen ceiling. While the contractors worked on the bathroom, Rodney set to work at finishing the kitchen ceiling.

The only major project left is the sunroom. Months ago Rodney gutted the room and this summer he sprayed it with the same chemical solution that the other areas in the house got, but it's still in decontrucion mode and therefore unusable. The plan is to have it completely finished by next summer, but I am so so so overjoyed that these first 3 projects are completed that I can wait for the sunroom to be done. Rodney keeps saying that we're no longer poisoning the kids and I have to say that this is probably the best feeling of all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Fun

Every summer since Rodney and I got married we have done some extensive road-tripping. Even after we started a family we continued the tradition with our biggest roadtrip ever. This year (minus one weekend away for me and a week for Rodney) we have needed to be home to work on our house. That being the case, we have still managed to figure out how to live out of suitcases for much of the summer.

This housesitting gig has probably been the biggest summer adventure for us, making it feel truly as if we are on vacation. The home we are staying at in Clayton is lovely and I've been spoiled in many ways. Even Will has had some spoiling being able to play with some pretty cool toys thanks to the three year old boy who lives here. One of his favorites is a legitimate, albeit child's sized, drumset. Rodney has schooled Will on the different names of each drum and cymbal and Will relishes in remembering them aloud whenever he plays. Even Rodney and I have taken turns playing. Here's a video of some awesome rock star action.

Besides pretending to be Ringo, we've been enjoying trips to the playground, Monkey Joe's, and all sorts of other shenanigans. Here are some of my favorite photos from the past few weeks. I would like to draw your attention to the underware around Will's neck in the first photo below. Crazy times.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Month In Review

It's been almost a month since my last post, which means that lots has happened. I'll do a little trick my friend Evie does and highlight the important stuff:

-Rodney started his campaign to rid our house of mold, beginning in the basement
-Eva started sucking her thumb
-Eva started crawling
-Started housesitting in Clayton so that contractors can rennovate bathroom
-Gina debuts as the Soprano Young Artist for the Bach Society of St. Louis
-Eva gets her first teeth
-Rodney's parents and brother, Brett arrive for visit
-Cousin Yuri turns 2
-Baby Kye (cousin) is born
-Rodney goes to emergency room for a sore neck and arm, starts physical therapy for a pinched nerve
-Gina and Eva take a road trip to Michigan for a memorial service
-Rodney leaves for New Orleans with a group of students for Habitat for Humanity relief work

That brings us up to date. As you can see, it has been a busy month for our girl, Eva. This would explain some overall fussiness and honestly, who can blame her. So much development in such a little time for such a little person. It's funny how when they start crawling a whole new level of parenting begins. Here are some photos of the month closing with a video of Eva crawling.

Thumb Sucker

Stingrays w/ Uncle B

Yuri's B-day Party

Grandma and Grandpa Malone

Great Nonna, Eva (namesake)

3 Evas: Nonna Eva, Cousin Evamarie, Eva Sophia