Monday, July 26, 2010


We LOVE having guests. Especially when they are playmates... we love cousins! (And sisters!)

Amber, Amy, Ana and Donnie... we miss you already!

But we'll see you soon. ;) Yay for that.

The only bad thing about having guests in July is... the HEAT. We swam a lot.

I love the pool.
It makes the bunnies take good naps...

Amber and Donnie

"Mimi" and "Ban-Ana"

Mama and Dom

Daddy and Dame

Sometimes it was quite an ordeal to get 4 cherubs 3 and under all sunscreened up, floatie-assembled, snacked, toweled, and out the door. So we swam in the back yard too. In the gosh-forsaken HEAT. The hose water was very WARM. Holy-Hannah, it was HOT.

"Cousins are those childhood playmates

who grow up to be special friends."

Ana, giving Dom a helpful push...


"Cousins are many,
Best friends are few...

...what a rare gift
to have found both in you."

We are so blessed to be loved by such a wonderful family! Love you all.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Private Damon is 8 Months Old!

Well, this Little Soldier has officially mastered the army crawl.

He started to do this the week that my sisters-in-law were here... so about a week and a half ago. He's pretty good at it now. This little boy is growing so fast!!! It makes me a little sad... ah, well, "C 'est la vie."

As of two days ago, he's 8 months old. He's such a happy guy. Still very laid back. He has a silly, quivering laugh that sounds like a little lamb and cracks people up. He adores Dominic, who still doesn't really acknowledge him. As soon as Dom walks into the room, Dame's face lights up and he usually squeals or giggles... and watches him like a hawk.

He loves to play with all of Dom's toys (which annoys Dom to no end) and loves swimming in the big pool with Mommy and Daddy. He hates the floatie though, so we have to hold him. He's a picky eater, just like Dom. He's actually worse than Dom. He won't eat any baby cereal... and pretty much detests all baby food. I cook him sweet potatoes and dice them for him and he'll eat those... he likes little tiny pieces of wheat bread, baby "puffs", and that's about it. No bottle, no sippy (although he likes to use the sippy as a teething toy)... he's a stinker. :)

He pulled himself up to a stand yesterday, all by himself. He's been super-close quite a few times... but yesterday, he army crawled to the bookcase in his nursery in pursuit of the Very Hungry Caterpillar stuffed toy on the 2nd shelf. Then, I watched as he pulled himself right up to it, grabbed it off the shelf, and fell back down to his bum. Woohoo! He's having a hard time though, not being entirely mobile, it drives him (and me) insane. He just wants all of his body to function right now. He's just gnawing at the bit. He wants to run and play and chase Dom all over the house. If I pick him up, he wrestles me to get away and out of my arms until I almost drop him. If I put him down, he army crawls a bit and then gets frustrated at his slow progress. He doesn't like to just sit anymore, novelty of that has long ago worn off. So, he's pretty much frustrated. But even though his adventurous spirit is trapped inside his novice little body, he's a good sport and can be cheered up in an instant. He just makes me tired! ;)

He's still not sleeping at night. Sometimes he'll have an awful night and be up 4-5 times. Sometimes he's just up twice. On average, it's 2-3 times. After our failed attempt at letting him cry it out, I'm terrified to try it again. I realize that he was trying to break his teeth back then, but it's kind of scarred me. Ugh.

Anyway, he's a sweetie and he's worth all the sleepless nights he's given us. All he has to do is flash me that wide grin in the morning and I forgive him for the previous night. :)

Damon, we love you so much! Even more than sleep.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two Front Teeth!

The addition of Dame's two front teeth make a mouth full of 3! Two on top, one on bottom. THANK HEAVENS those painful little guys finally poked through. I have had enough night wakings (like 5 or 6 every night... blech.) for this year, and enough crankiness on both our parts. This has been almost a month-long ordeal.

So YAY for chicklets. Ta-dah!

(But I'm secretly sad that his gummy grin is disappearing.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July!

(Ahem... two weeks ago. But "happy" anyway.)

It's soooo stinkin' hot here right now. Every day is in the one hundred teens.

So for the 4th... we got the heck outta Dodge.

Out our car window, we watched as this...

...turned to this!

(Well, some of us watched. But really, some of us were more interested in reading

about "Choo-choo's"... upside-down.)

Only a two hour drive, and "Ahhhh!" reprieve from the heat.

Here are all 3 of my boys, at our destination: atop of the Mogollon Rim just 30 minutes East of Prescott, about a two-mile trek from Woods Canyon Lake.


If Damon looks less than excited, it's because he hates to nurse in the car. We fought for about 15 minutes before I gave up... but not before his face turned into a red, splotchy mess. Curse my genes... my face does the same thing. ;)

One Happy (almost) Family. :)

The Mogollon Rim, which we are standing on, curves around the valley below like the rim of a giant bowl. The view was spectacular... the temperature, a refreshing 80-something.

We walked through the woods on a paved path for about 2 miles until we reached the lake. It's like they knew we and our double stroller were coming. "Thankyouverymuch." Navigating the trail on this path was a cinch.

It smelled like pine trees and the good 'ol outdoors.

I love the mountains!!! Just what I needed.

And here is the Lake...

Dame took a 15 minutes snooze while Rich, Dom, and I ate a little picnic of peanut butter and honey sandwiches atop a nice, big rock, under a hundred shady pine trees... and took in the beautiful lake as we munched. And then we made our way down to the water.

Me and Dom testing out the water.
It was soo cold, my feet got achy! But Dom didn't seem to mind.

You can rent boats here... paddle boats, canoes, or the little fishing boats with the small engine on the back. Maybe when our babies are a little older, we'll do just that.

You can bet your bottom dollar that he threw a ginormous tantrum when we tried to leave. ;)

Dame and Rich, patiently waiting for me and Dom
to finish up in the water.

After we spent some time at the lake, we made the 2 mile walk back to where we parked the car, on the Rim. Then, we meandered through the Christopher Creek area until we pulled into the charming town of Prescott. At the advice of some locals (who we met on the side of the road while I was giving Dominic a time-out in the dirt... they pulled over to make sure we were ok. A little embarrasing.) we ate at a little restraunt named "Tiny's". It was delish.

After our tummies were full, we drove straight from Prescott back to Tempe for the firework display. First Solar, where Rich works, is located directly across the freeway from Tempe Town Lakes, where they were shooting off the fireworks from the bridge. His work building has a balcony, and so... we were blessed with perfect (and perfectly free) seats!

Unfortunately, in anticipation of 4th of July traffic (which we surprisingly didn't hit), we got there almost 2 hours early.

Talk about tiring... and scorching hot.

We found ourselves with two slap-happy, nap deprived, sunburned munchkins (80 degrees can be deceiving and we didn't slather up with sunblock while we were in the mountains), not enough snacks, an hour past bedtime, in the scorching heat (it's terribly cruel, it doesn't cool down here at night).

But finally, finally the fireworks made their debut. And just like that, we caught a break. Eyes were glued... restless little bodies were still as statues as they watched the sky light up. Whew!

As with most new things, Dom was a little skeptical about the fireworks at first... but he quickly decided they were worth watching.

Damon was mesmerized.

And I was happy to have him stop squirming for two seconds.

What a great ending to a wonderful (albeit tiring) day.

It was quite a show... hope your holiday was wonderful!

Some road trip craziness...

Thursday, July 15, 2010


My sweet sis, Robyn, (who is also stellar in the kitchen) told me about this yummy place online a few weeks ago. In particular, she told me about this dish. Thai Peanut Noodles. I think they should call it Thai-ohmygosh-WOW-deliciousness. It is, by far, the BEST dinner I've ever, ever made. Oh wow. It is spectacular.

Here's Rich, before he does a taste test... he's pretty excited:

Here's the winning dish:

Here's the reaction:

Dude... you HAVE to try this stuff. Maybe I'll invite you over for dinner. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sunday Best

Awww... here's to many more years of "twin-dom" to come. ;)

Geez, 3 hour church is not for the faint of heart. ;)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Utah & Idaho Part 2!

Our Trip to Idaho to visit my dad was followed by a stay in Utah, visiting with Rich's family. It's always a visit I look forward too. This family is so much fun. And the cousins keep coming and coming! Pretty soon we're going to have to meet up at a cabin or something... Nana's house is bursting at the seams when we all show up!
Dominic and Alessandra are like peanut butter and jelly...

... like macaroni and cheese...

... like best buds, forever...

... and I love it. :) Cousins are so great.

We're lucky to have an abundance of them that are all close in age. And we've got another one on the way... congratulations Leslie and Jim!!! Woohooo!

Here's Dom and Ana and Ali playing chase in the front yard with Aunt Mimi (always the favorite... and such a great Aunt) and Papa.

Damon got to spend some time with Nana. I wish we lived closer so that my boys could be around family more often. It makes me feel so happy to see them interact with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Damon and Donnie are only a few months apart. The last time they met, Dame was a newborn... so this was fun.

I love all these boys. EVERY time we get together, the guys either play board games, basketball, have computer-game wars, go to movies, or something. They love each other. :) Here they are, playing one of Matt and Amber's games in the back yard... I forget the name, but it's fun.

More cousin photos...

Rub-a-Dub-Dub... Naked Babies in the Tub!
Haha! Blackmail photos for later in life...

Rich's parents are awesome. They do so much for all of their kids... and they already have such a full plate. One morning they watched our boys while Rich and I drove up to Sundance. We walked around until we found the hike for Stuart Falls, and then ran the entire hike to the top. It was so much fun and sooo beautiful!

Rich... he saw something moving in the tree.
Hee, hee... we are nerds.

Stuart Falls

The opposite view from the Falls. This is looking down the mountain in the direction of Sundance. Beautiful.

On our way back down...

Oohhh... kind of a mug shot but I'm posting it anyway because we don't get many pictures of just Rich and I without our two little (and wonderful) sidekicks. We had so much fun together on our hiking date. Thanks Mom and Dad! :)

Another thing we did while we were here... something I must do every time we come to Utah... was drive the Alpine Loop. I think that if I lived in the mountains, surrounded by green trees, the smell of the outdoors, and the sound of bubbling creeks... I think I could never get depressed. The mountains are therapy for me. I get such a high... almost a spiritual high... every time we come to Utah and I'm able to get into the mountains. Which isn't surprising, they are God's creations after all. I love them. I wish I could take them back to Arizona with me. The mountains, and our family. Then we'd really be set. :)

Miss Ali-Mae, my cutie-pie niece, celebrated the big 2 while we were there and we were able to come to her party! What great timing.
We love this little girl. (And the little cutie behind her too!)
Auntie Leslie, Damon, and Nana... watching the kiddies play "Pin the Birthday Hat on Ali".

Dom was a little off... and that was even with his eyes open. Hee, hee.

One of the funnest things we did was go to the Hogle Zoo. It rained that day. And I was happy. Rain smells good, I don't see it too often any more... and it's a heck of a lot better to walk around in than 113 degree weather! I had a wonderful time with my sweet sisters-in-law and all their kiddies.

Dominic loves elephants. Loves them.

The babes rode together in Amber's BOB. Aren't they cute!?
It didn't take long before they got sleepy...

Going....... going.........
...gone. :)

Dominic's riding partner was Ana.
Don't let those stone-faces fool you... they had so much fun.

Except for maybe at this moment in time. ;) I always feel the need to post one of these... if I didn't, these memories would be completely unrealistic, because really... this is happening all the time in my life right now. He's so funny.

Auntie Leslie and Ryker

The dynamic duo... checking out the "affs".

Ali, practicing her photography. This was sooo funny! I got her this little fake camera for her birthday. She holds it backwards when she takes a picture... sticking the lens into her eye. In this picture, she is saying, "Cheeeeeeeeese tiger! Cheeeeeese tiger!"

Auntie Amber and Dom, cheking out the tigers.

Dominic, enjoying his first candy necklace ever. It was a hit. :)
I am not surprised.

Dom, getting up-close and personal.

Haha! And this is too stinkin' funny not to post. This is Ana-Banana (as we affectionately call her) on the carousel. And that poor mama trying to pry her off of it? That's my sweet sis-in-law, Amber. Hilarious. I love it. ;)

Needless to say, they were the last ones off... by a long way. Haha!

Dom, on the other hand... well, he started out liking the carousel.

... he even got to sit on the "aff"!

But then...

... the darn thing started moving...

And that's when my little guy usually wants off.

This ride was less painful than past ones though... although both of his arms were wrapped securely around my neck, I managed to not only keep him straddling his giraffe, but also to keep him from losing it altogether. No tears on this ride. ;) Hooray. Brave little soul.

Here's all of us... Top: Amber, Me, Angela, and Leslie
Kiddies: Dom, Ana, Damon, Donnie, Ali, Jo, and Ryker
Before we left for home, we stopped at the zoo's playground and let the munchkins play.

It was such a fun day.
Then again, any day with my family is fun. It doesn't matter what we do.
I love you all so much!!! Thank you for going out of your way to plan some fun activities for us to do while we were there. You guys are the best.

Before we headed for home for Arizona, I was able to visit one more important person.
A trip to Utah wouldn't be complete without seeing Kara-Jo.
This is my best girl. :) We don't get to see each other much, but I love her like crazy.

And this was the 1st time I was able to meet her little "Jett"! He and Damon are only a few weeks apart and Kara and I were able to be prego together. So fun. :) Aren't her kids beautiful?

Future Best-Buds:
Haha! For only being a few weeks apart... Damon dwarfs Jett.
Dominic and Adalyn, playing Lite-Brite.
(Actually Dominic was just messing it up... and Addie was being very patient with him. )

And... this was a big, BIG day for me. Haha!
Kara does hair. Dom does comb-overs.
Until now.
I told Kara I was getting the camera and that I was nervous.
"That's OK," she said. "Just don't cry."
"Oh I won't!" I half-laughed.
And then I quickly swallowed the HUGE lump in my throat and pulled it together.
Why am I such a lame sap!?

We bribed him with Smarties...
... and he willingly sat there as I watched all his hair fall to the ground.

And just like that, he turned into a BIG boy.
Oh. My. Gosh.

And it's sooo-super cute. Thanks Auntie Kara! We love you so much! :)

Well, that was one HECK of a post! I'm surprised if you're still reading. But I had a LOT of fun to catch up on! And I still do. ;) Some day I'll get current.