Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Excuse Me, Bye Y'all!

Never let it be said that I haven't tried to teach my kids manners! 

Sophie's new phrases include:
Excuse Me
I'm Sorry
Bye Y'all  (seriously the cutest thing ever - done with a wave and everything)
Thank You

Big Boy Bed

The time has come... Zachary is getting a real big boy bed.  When we bought his crib, we chose one that would eventually convert to a double bed.  He's been asking for a big boy bed since before Christmas, but between Christmas and getting ready for our California trip, all requests were brushed aside. 

This week, though, Mom and Dad got our acts in gear and ordered the bed rails.  Saturday we went to look at mattresses and select bedding.  We were very lucky to find a Lightning McQueen bedding set at Bed, Bath & Beyond for a more than reasonable price, and 2 sets of sheets. 

Today he settled on a bed, and it will be delivered tomorrow, just in time for napping. 

Shall we place bets on if the napping will occur? :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Love You, Baby!

Sophie has added a new phrase to her vocabulary: "I Love You!"  She says it to people, and she likes to sing it with the Barney song.  So watch out - the 'LOVE' is being spread around the world, courtesy of Sophie Grace Moroneso. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Our California adventure has come to a close.

We loaded up the luggage and the people and headed for the airport right on time.  Our previous experiences at SFO made us think this trip through... Steve and Phil dropped Anne, the kids, me, and our luggage at the terminal, and went to return the rental cars.  Honestly, if we'd had to make that trek back from Rental Car Land again, I think we would have just found somewhere in San Fran to live.  Geez!

Anne and I were sizing up the security line, and the VERY NICE TSA agent invited us to use the Priority screening lane.  I'm not sure if it was actual kindness, or an act of sparing the other passengers from listening to the whining for 20 minutes, but I appreciate it more than he will ever know. 

Anne had access to the Admirals Club so we could have a nice place to sit for a few minutes.  We tried to be inconspicuous, but really, how is that happening with a 4.5 and 1.5 year old? 

As lovely as the Admirals Club is, the lunch/breakfast offerings were not pleasing to the little ones, so we headed next door to a cafe for 'brunch'.  Steve and Phil joined us shortly after, and we had a quick meal.  Back to the Admiral's Club for a potty break, and then time to board the plane. 

Since we've traveled a couple times with the kids, we have a routine for boarding. Shocker.  Steve takes the car seat, the carry-ons, and Zachary and gets on the plane first.  Sophie and I get on last - or pretty close to it.  But this time the routine got changed up, and in the commotion, Steve forgot to get all the carry ons, and the boys didn't get on as quickly as I would have liked.  We actually watched them walk on the plane, resulting in Sophie screaming and wailing for Daddy.  All the while, I'm trying to wrangle my 19 month old daughter, a duffel bag, a stroller, and my purse, without dumping everything onto the floor of SFO.  It was loud.  It was embarassing.  But it finally finished. 

We got on the plane and got settled.  Ready for takeoff. I texted my friends that we were on the plane to come home and to please pray for my sanity.  As the plane was ascending, Sophie pooped.  Of course, I thought.  Just like last time.  I realized that it didn't smell too bad, and at that moment she said "tired", handed me her lovey, grabbed my hand and fell asleep.



After we landed at DFW, we got our bags - nothing lost - got our cars, and drove home.  Zachary fell asleep about 20 minutes from home and stayed asleep until 7 the next morning!


Monday, March 8, 2010

City by the Bay

We started the day by driving into the city and going to Aquarium by the Bay.  This aquarium was not large, but it was nice.  They had a really cool glass underground tunnel where you could watch all the sea life in the bay.  The kids saw sharks and sting rays and giant fish.  There were also smaller tanks, including octopus.  When we got back upstairs, we saw the touch tanks.  The first tank had sting rays and a shark.  They were so friendly - every time a new group of people came up to the tank, the sting rays would come splash them.  Sophie and Zachary were up to their elbows in the tank, and would have probably jumped in had I let them.  In the other touch tank, there were hundreds of giant starfish that the kids enjoyed as well.

After the aquarium, we were joined by the Finns and Grandma and Grandpa Moroneso.  Lunch at Pier 39 was fun, and the kids enjoyed the street performers outside afterward.  We headed onto the pier to see the shops, ride the carousel, and see the sea lions.  It was VERY windy, so my kids got new sweatshirts (thank you Grandpa).  They also got to see a magic show!

On to the Boudin Bakery at Pier 41.  They have a window where you can watch the bread being formed into various shapes (they were working on turtles when we were there).

Grandma and Grandpa really wanted to take the kids for ice cream in Ghiradelli Square, so off we went again.  It was quite a trek (should have probably cabbed it), and I carried Zachary a good portion of the way.  Upside = Zero Guilt about Ice Cream!  We quite enjoyed the ice cream treats, and they had a display of the chocolate making process.  The boys enjoyed the fountain in the square, too!

Last stop - Cable Cars.  We ventured back down a hill to stand in line for the cable cars.  Halfway there, Sophie decided to throw a giant fit.  Thankfully it just looked like she was praying to Mecca, so at least we didn't look totally weird. haha

We finally got on the cable cars (with 35 of our closest friends - and they are not large cars), and Sophie decided to cry some more.  The boys enjoyed the trip and we got transported to China Town.  Our stop in China Town was colorful, and we decided the kids did not need to see the cultural opportunities in one direction, so we opted for the other.  Steve, Kaitlyn, Sophie and I took a cab back to the car, and the others, including Zachary, continued on with China Town.  They got to see a fortune cookie factory!

After a quick drive-by of a RadioShack 'situation' we headed back to our rental house and decided that we were a bit jealous about the Chinese food eating that the rest of the group was experiencing.  Thank goodness for GPS points of interest!  We had a great take out meal!

Tomorrow we head back home, and it has been such a fun week!  Cross your fingers for a better flight home!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Muir Woods and Beach

The day began innocently enough...

We invited all of the Moroneso wedding guests back to our rental house for brunch.  The perfect weather continued and everyone enjoyed visiting and eating on the porch.  Thank you to the Mathis women for being my cooking partners, and to the Millers for bringing most excellent bagels!

After brunch, the men's tuxedos were returned and we headed off for Muir Woods.  Let me tell you, that drive is not for the faint of heart - and that's just the drive there! 

And then the Day of Many Misfortunes began...

When we arrived, there were no close spots, so the guys dropped us off and went to park the cars.  Half an hour later, they return to meet us.  Poor Steve has a sheepish look on his face.  Turns out he had torn part of the running board off our rental Suburban while navigating the parking lots.  Ick.  But nobody was hurt, and surely a running board isn't too expensive.  Onward we went.

It was a perfect day for a hike, and the kids had a great time burning off energy.  The paths are lovely and the trees were magnificent.  We made it all the way to bridge 4 without really realizing it.  After we crossed bridge 4, a sign informed us that the path back was not stroller friendly.  Half the group turned around and the other half continued on.  A couple minutes later, the Millers returned to join us after Brian took a spill while holding Alex.  Thankfully nobody was hurt seriously!

We made it back to the park entrance without too much incident.  The little boys (Hunter and Zachary) quite enjoyed an encounter with a worm.  We got some nice photos of everyone.  Lunch was fairly uneventful, and we managed to get everyone through a potty stop!

Next stop - Muir Beach.  After being assured it was just a few minutes away, we set out to find it, following the Millers.  But then, a darned BIKE got between us, and we lost the Millers.  And because we were so busy looking for their car, we missed the (slightly obscured) sign for Muir Beach.  So we got to go back up and back down the mountain.  That little exercise did nothing to improve the state of my marriage.  Let me just say I was exceptionally glad to finally see the sign!

So we get to the beach parking lot and run into the rest of the group as they are getting in their cars.  Turns out our little detour spared us from the horrors of being attacked by a rogue wave.  This rogue wave caused yet another Miller Family Fall, and claimed an iPhone, in addition to soaking just about every other member of the group.  Bummer for them!

Janice and Megan decided to stay with us (my kids, Kaitlyn, Steve and me) to enjoy the beach a bit more.  We bundled up in towels to protect from the wind, and made our way there.  Zachary loved it, and Sophie eventually did too!

We had a big family dinner at our house, and then Steve took Anne and Phil back to their hotel.  While getting gas in our car, the gas pump spewed gas all over him!  YUCK!

And so ended the Day of Many Misfortunes!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Goin' to the Chapel...

This is it... Michael and Katey's BIG DAY!!!

We spent the morning running errands and getting ready.  A big thanks to Kaitlyn for coming to the grocery store with me and the kids!

Zachary and Sophie both napped a bit after lunch while Steve Mathis and Steve Moroneso went to the hotel to help Michael get ready.  The bottle of Patron tequila helped a little bit. :)

Then I got Zachary showered (my shirt got soaked too), and got myself almost ready, and then started to get Zachary ready in his tuxedo.  Uncle Steve finished up getting Zachary ready, while I got Sophie up and ready.  Somehow we made it out of the house and to the hotel in time for the shuttle. 

Since the chapel is small, there were only a few parking spots, which meant we all got to ride a shuttle bus.  Sophie quite enjoyed the bus (as did Zachary on the way back).  The kids enjoyed playing in the chapel before the ceremony.  Zachary did a nice job bringing in the rings in the special nest that Katey made.  Sophie got pretty antsy after the 2nd reading, and we went outside to play aka climb stairs.  Hunter and John came to join us shortly after. 

During this time, Zachary was getting impatient.  There was nose picking, scratching (yes, THERE), sitting, walking, and then he figured out that Hunter was outside.  He announced to Steve that he would be "right back", and marched down the aisle to come play.  I quickly sent him back in, and he STOMPED up the aisle.  Kaitlyn (our savior) managed to get him to sit nicely with her for a while. 

I heard the wedding was very nice, and the photographers took some great photos afterward.

Michael and Katey rang the bell after the wedding and we took the shuttle back to the hotel and then to the reception at Servino's.  After a few child safety modifications, we enjoyed the outdoor patio overlooking the Bay.  The appetizers were fantastic, and the kids enjoyed playtime with each other.  By the time dinner rolled around, our kids were losing interest, so Steven ended up eating at a separate table with all the kids.  We did enjoy some dancing time, yummy cake and toasts before calling it a night.  Go figure - both kids fell asleep on the way home. 

We  were so honored to share this special day with Michael and Katey and wish them the best in their marriage adventure!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ferries and Gnocchi

This morning we woke up and decided to take the kids on Ferry rides before nap time and the rehearsal dinner.  Kaitlyn decided to come with us and we had a blast with her!

First we drove to town and took the ferry to Angel Island.  The ferries don't run continuously, so we just rode there and back, but it was a wonderful trip.  Windy, but a nice first boat ride for the kids.  Angel Island looked beautiful, and I hope we get to go back to explore someday.

We grabbed a quick brunch (15 minutes) of pancakes and ran back to catch the ferry through the bay.  As we ran - literally - carrying the rest of our breakfast and Zachary, we saw several other members of our group, the Boggs and Finns.  All the boys had a blast exploring the big ferry boat and the girls stayed warm mostly inside.  It was a beautiful day for a boat ride -sunshine everywhere!  We went to Sausalito first, then San Francisco and back to Tiburon.  It was just long enough and the kids loved it!

After the boat ride, it was nap time.  Everyone napped for a bit, and then Steven and I took Zachary to the wedding rehearsal while Kaitlyn and Sophie continued their snooze fest.  Kaitlyn was an excellent babysitter!!

Zachary and Steven received excellent instruction on their wedding duties and then we returned to get everyone ready for the rehearsal dinner.  It was a really fun party with a delicious dinner.  Steven and I each made a toast to congratulate Katey and Michael and welcome Katey to the family.  It's tough job to love a Moroneso male, but the good news is: they get better looking every day. :)

Jelly Bellies and Monkey Suits

Day 2 of our San Francisco trip...

Steve and I just knew our little angels would be waking early on the first morning of Pacific Time.  Luckily, the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield opens early, so we had a plan to keep them occupied.  Added bonus: my dad grew up in Fairfield, so we could drive by his childhood homes and his high school to show the kids some of their 'roots'.

The drive from Tiburon to Fairfield is beautiful.  You go from the San Francisco Bay, through southern Wine Country, through farms and hills, and end up in Fairfield, which used to have a lot of fruit orchards.  The kids saw marshes, cows, etc. and it was great to be going the opposite of traffic. 

Jelly Belly does a free tour that includes SAMPLES!!  Visitors get to tour the factory on raised walkways so they have a birds-eye view, and there are windows strategically placed so the little ones can see without being held by their grown ups.  Zachary was very brave and tried some yucky Jelly Belly beans (thanks Harry Potter), and Sophie especially loved the samples.  We had to cut her off due to tummy problems that the excess of sugar was not helping, but she still gets very excited to see jellies. 

After a stop in the gift shop to purchase "Belly Flops" - the irregulars - and some candy corn for Grandma T, we drove through Fairfield and saw the old homes on Pierce Street and Coolidge Street.  I thought I remembered the house on Coolidge Street, but not so much.  We also saw Armijo High School.  The athletic fields seemed bigger and nicer than my old high school's.  Sadly, we could not locate Johannes (great diner where my mom and dad used to eat), and think that it has closed, so we ate at Fresh Choice instead. 

With our time in Fairfield done, we made our way to Green Brae to pick up the guys' tuxedos.  Zachary and Sophie caught some shut-eye on the way, which made for happy children during the monkey suit adventure.  The guys looked so handsome in their suits, and Zachary and Sophie had fun playing in the three way mirror.  The wrestling got a bit out of control and my darlings tackled each other and fell into the corner of a table.  I know the Men's Wearhouse was sad to see us go - NOT!!

Next on the list was a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's hotel, where we got to meet Katey's mom and went for a walk down to the dock.  Zachary had a good time clowning around and seeing the fire station, and the grown ups got a much needed dose of caffeine. 

Although we went back to our rental house for naptime, our kids decided it was bouncing time - no naps for them.  So we met the group for dinner - Grandpa ate CACTUS!

The kids finally got settled down and Steve and I sat up to wait for the Mathis family.  It was great to see them when they arrived!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Note to travelers flying into SFO:

If you have a lot of luggage to collect, and are traveling with small children, it might be easier to get the rental car and then go get the luggage.  See, some genius decided that you have to go downstairs to get the luggage, back upstairs, up a ramp, down a hallway, and up another elevator to get the train, on the train to get to the car rental place, down the elevator to the sign in counter with the rental car, and down another elevator to actually get the car. 

Thank goodness we had our own personal sherpa along to tote the luggage. (photo to follow soon).

PS - while most major cities allow you to stay on a highway to get out of the city, San Francisco is not that way.  Don't be suprised when your GPS sends you through the streets of town, and don't try to get back on the highway.  You'll only lose time. Just go with it, and enjoy the sights. :)