His grace is sufficient for me, for power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pittsburgh: Auburn Reunion

This adorable woman is Natasha. Natasha and I go way back to 2004. We met in college. We got close. We lived together. We know each other well. She has a biting fetish. I am completely cool with it. We once dressed up as Lite Brites for Halloween. True story. 

Natasha lives in Pittsburgh and I am SOOOOO glad that I get to see her when we travel up there. Natasha's hubby, Mr. Brett (I don't really call him Mr.) works as a FOCUS missionary for Pitt. They have two beautiful ladies, Katherine and Audrey. Katherine and Audrey are also 15 months apart although just a smidge younger than Greg and Maria. We have lots to talk about as mommies, wives, and friends. 

But let's be real, our quick get together with 4 kids under the age of 2 1/2 was a little crazy, but I loved it! Greg and Katherine clearly stole the limelight being their awesome (maybe awkward) 2 year old selves! 

Guilty faces! (Greg is so awkward. I need to put him around pretty girls more often)
They loved each other. 
He moves fast. Maria tried to hold him back! 
They did this game of laughing, and throwing themselves backward and forward for like 10 minutes. Why buy toys? 
Maria did not find it quite as amusing after a million times! 
Carpet picnic for lunch! 

Bottom line: I love Natasha and her sweet family. I love that we understand where each of us is in our lives. It is amazing and a true blessing that our friendship can pick up where it left off with each visit or phone call. Sadly, these do not happen as much as we would like, but we understand this and this does not hinder our friendship. 

"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth." Sirach 6:14-15

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pittsburgh: Ambulance

No worries...we did not take any needed rides to the ER while traveling. 
Cousin Scottie volunteers as an EMT for Shaler and we got to go visit him and his ambulance. Greg was very exited for this outing!  
Aunt Bim and Greg
 Checking out all of the cool buttons! 
 Just driving around in my vest.
 Maria was not so amused! 
 Scottie and Greg! 
More fun things to play with! 

Greg loved visiting the ambulance and had a blast watching the lights, honking the horn, and hearing the sirens!  I think this was his favorite part of the entire trip. He did not like going in the back of the ambulance! It makes me wonder if he remembered riding in there during his first febrile seizure!? Crazy! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pittsburgh: Play Time!

There is lots to do in Pittsburgh, but the kids had a blast playing around the house! 
Aunt Bim found this car at a garage sale, and the kiddos LOVED! 
 They also loved all of the tiny rocks in the landscaping! Who needs toys?
 Pebble time fun! 
 Lovin' on the new baby doll from Great Grams! 
 Maria's turn with the car! 
 I love him.
 Messy face after lunch! Love her! 
 Story time with Great Grams
 Kickin' it old school.
 Turn it up! 
Back to the rocks! 

We seriously had so much fun visiting. It was a blast to just relax and have no commitments. Much needed time to just chill and do nothing was accomplished! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pittsburgh: Dining Out

While visiting PA, we got to head out to several local restaurants. Greg and I really love trying out local places when we travel! I have to say that Greg and Maria do very well dining out...most times! :-)
 There are only pics of Greg because all of Maria's came out blurry! :-(
He loves ranch. 

He loves ranch a lot!
Aunt Bim and Greg!

This time while up visiting we went to Uncle Scott and Aunt Bim's favorite Mexican restaurant, El Campesino, and Burgatory! Both excellent places if you are in Pittsburgh and are looking for yummy food! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pittsburgh: Easter

It was great to celebrate Easter with some of the family we don't get to see very often! We had a wonderful day attending Mass, opening Easter baskets, hunting for eggs, and eating wonderful food! To  share in the joy of the Resurrection with loved ones is a true gift! 
Good Morning Maria!
 Daddy and a very serious Maria!
Easter baskets...I went a little crazy! 
Each kiddo got lots of arts and crafts supplies, outside stuff like bubbles and sidewalk chalk, a new toy (baby for Maria, truck for Greg), and a Tag Jr. reading system set! I cannot wait to use these with them!  
 He was a fan of all the fun stuff he got!
 So many new things! 
 Guitar from Aunt Bim and Uncle Scott! 
They spoiled the children with tons of new clothes and toys! 
 And they are off for their Easter egg hunt! 
 Serious hunting!
 Stopping for a moment! 
 He was an excellent searcher! 
Maria needed some help!  
But she figured it out....
PS (she was kind of grumpy in all of the pics from Easter!) 

We had a wonderful Easter and continue to enjoy this wonderful Easter season celebrating our Lord! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pittsburgh: Pitstops

From April 5-April 14 we got the opportunity to hang out in Pittsburgh with some of Greg's family! It was a blast! There is so much to write about so I am just breaking it down over the next few days!

Greg and I are "no mess around" travelers. Both of us grew up traveling a lot to visit family. I am SO glad that we both have the same travel style...get their as soon as possible with as few stops as possible. We knew this year would be a little crazy since Greg is potty trained. We knew we would be stopping every 30 minutes to take him potty since he has not quite gotten the hang of telling us every time he needs to go.

We left at 4 am to get in some solid driving without stopping while the kids continued to sleep. The kids were up around 730 both going to PA and coming home from PA. We would stop for breakfast and potty and then hit the road...stopping every 30 minutes until lunch time. We took a longer stop for lunch to eat and potty and then would drive 2-3 hours straight while the kids napped! And then back to stopping every 30 minutes. Even with all these pitstops, we made excellent time. We did the 11 hour trip in 11 1/2 hours! Go us!

On our way up to Pittsburgh, there was some traffic when we got into PA. He are some shots of Greg's first time peeing on the side of the road. He hated it, and eventually he sat on the foot rail of the car with his legs propped on my husband's arms to go. He probably would have been able to do it standing up if Greg could have showed him how...but apparently grown men peeing during a traffic jam could result in a ticket of some kind!
He just didn't get it!
Daddy providing some direction.
Not so much happening!

(The pictures of him actually peeing were not blog appropriate!)

We are very blessed to have great travelers. (Disclaimer: I know every child is different, and what works for some families does not work for others.) I wrote a disclaimer because my old neighbor defriended me on facebook for writing that I didn't believe in DVD players in cars.

Any who....

We have wonderful travelers. They read books, color, talk with each other, play with toys, sing songs with Mommy and Daddy! Greg and I were both on the same page with not having DVD players in the car. Some of our happiest memories growing up were in the car with our families. We both have wonderful family time memories of being in the car and creating games and talking and playing with one another. Personally I feel like DVDs in the car may hinder children's abilities to self entertain and be creative. This is probably just because of the way I grew up. I also do understand this is what works for our family. I know plenty of others who have terrible travelers and without DVDs their road trips are just miserable. To each their own...no judging here. I am just blessed that road trips are not a problem for us! :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Sorry I have been gone from the blog world for so long. We have been busy (more posts to come soon on all of our happenings in the last few weeks!)!

For today, I have stats! Today I took Maria and Greg to the doctor for their well visits! This is the first time I have taken BOTH of them at the same time. It was a little crazy, but pretty successful. No major melt downs, and they both listened really well while we were cramped in the tiny room!
Greg had his 2 1/2 year visit.
Weight: 29.6 pounds (45th percentile)
Height: 38 inches (86th percentile)
Head Circumference: 19 1/2 inches (54th percentile)
Overall we have a healthy big boy. He has hit all of his milestones, and she said he was "just perfect!" He was really excited to get his shots and was all laid down on the table and then when it happened, he made the saddest pouty face I have ever seen. He cried for two seconds, took off his band-aid and played with it while Maria got her shots!
Maria had her 15 month visit.
Weight: 23 pounds 4 ounces (54th percentile)
Height: 32 1/4 inches (91st percentile)
Head Circumference: 18 1/4 inches (63rd percentile)
Maria is one healthy girl who is also on track and hitting all of her milestones. She did not like being touched and prodded with tools by a stranger. She kind of cried a lot this morning. The only concern I had with her was her runny nose. It has been non-stop for like 2 weeks. First it was allergies, and then teething, and it had gotten better, but never went away. Turns out, baby girl was in the beginning stage of an ear infection. The doctor said her ear was just a tad infected and since Maria was having no symptoms of an ear infection we may not ever had known until it got way worse....so I'm glad we got her checked out today. She will be on amoxicillin for the next 10 days. This is the first time either of them have had an ear infection. Boo! Maria hated her shots, and screamed like crazy. She stopped crying as soon as she was back in my arms!

We just love our pediatrician. She is so thorough and has been wonderful for the last 2 1/2 years we have seen her!