Thursday, January 22, 2009

As usual... the days seem to just fly by and I can't find the time to post pics of our daily adventures. Between the B-day parties... (the kids have gone to 5 and turned down I don't know how many so far this month...)school, practice, playdates... and now PACKING FOR OUR TRIP TO HAWAII on Tuesday... I figured I had to clean off my camera and write a quick update before you all get bombarded with Hawaii photos upon our return. Yep- that's right, we are taking our first big family trip with the whole gang- and it's not just our little family of five. Wes' parents have been planning this trip for a year, they are taking their kids and grandkids on the trip of a lifetime to enjoy some of their favorite Hawaiian locations. I 've always known I've lucked out when it comes to in-laws, Wes' parents are amazing- but this trip really goes above and beyond. They truly just want to experience Hawaii with their Grandkids, so they're really doing everything in their power to get us all over there. They are the most giving people I know.
We'll spend 4 days in Oahu, then a week in Kauai. It's going to be an amazing trip- the kids are counting down and can't wait to get their bathing suits on and hit the beach! There are 13 of us traveling together- 6 of whom are under the age of 7- so hopefully we'll have really friendly nieghbors on the plane who don't mind A LOT of childhood enthusiasm :) Stay tuned for updates, I'll try to post while we're gone. Until then- here are some pics from the past week at home...

Madison is our super baby- she is so amazingly wonderful, that I have a hard time answering people when they say "are you done having kids now?" I think that we are pretty sure we're done, and I am just soaking up Madi's sweet baby days as much as I can in case she's our last. She is growing quickly and will be 3 months on the 31st! She is holding her head up so well, loves playtime with Daddy- and will give any friendly face the BIGGEST smiles. She's so close to giggling... we can't wait to hear the sweet laughter from one more child in our crazy household!

Last weekend, my mom and dad came up for a visit. They loved seeing how much Madison has changed sinced the holidays... she's so interactive... not to mention chubby with those cute baby rolls!

We had a great time just hanging out and playing. My dad was my coach in all of my elementary school sports, so he and my mom were very excited to catch some of Kylee's Basketball games this weekend. Plus, they were able to practice together in the backyard, since our weather has been so sunny these days.

Kylee is No. 1! She's having a blast on her K-2nd grade team and is getting more and more comfortable with the sport everytime she plays!

She's the point guard and loves bringing the ball down court- then getting rid of it ASAP.

Go Timberwolves

Kylee's got the best fans! Both sets of Grandma's and Grandpa's enjoy watching the VERY entertaining little ones shoot hoops!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Week Back

Winter break is over and the kids are back in the school routine. It's been back to early bedtimes and busy mornings, and I kinda miss the carefree days with the kids over break. But it's nice to have a little alone time with Madison in the mornings again, cause she is going through some super adorable stages, and I don't want to miss a second of it! The kids are happy to be reunited with classmates they didn't get to see over break, and these busy days have them so wiped out by the end of the day. Bedtimes have been a breeze! Especially since Kylee started her basketball season, and practice goes til 7:45 pm twice a week. It's awesome, though, she's on a K-2nd grade team, and since practice is so late, Wes is usually done with work and can help coach. She loves having her daddy out there with her, and is picking up on some of the b-ball basics. So far, her biggest accomplishment that she'll tell anyone about is "I got hit in the face twice- and I didn't even cry." If she never touches a basketball this season, and only gains a bit of sports toughness- I will be a happy mom! Here some pics of her first practice:

A 5th grade team helps the "Timberpups" stretch

Kylee doing layups

Kylee and her buddy Hannah

Friday, January 2, 2009

We made it through the Holidays

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The holidays, like the rest of 2008, seemed to fly by at warp speed. We were so busy, both on the road and at home, I haven't had much time to sit down and post anything. And now, I feel like I should be getting on my treadmill since the baby is sleeping and the kids are playing nicely- but I figure if I don't post now, I'll never get around to documenting little Madi's first Christmas. (See that... I'm an expert excercise procrastinator!)

Ever since 2004, we have always made sure that our children wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning. This year was tricky, because Christmas fell on a Thursday, and my cousin was getting married in Napa on Sunday, the 21st. We decided to take off a few extra days of work, and left Sunday morning at 8, for our first road trip with a new baby in our bunch. It was amazing! We made it 3 straight hours to Vacaville with no stops- no potty breaks, the kids just snacked and watched movies with limited fluid intake. In Vacaville, Dad grabbed lunch and pottied the kids while I nursed and changed Madison. We got back on the road within 30 min and made it to Napa in time to get showered and changed for the 2 pm wedding. It was super smooth, we felt like traveling pros! The wedding was at my Uncle's house, and was such a nice setting for a family wedding. It was very quaint, and full of love, but also filled with lots of Franco family excitement and drama. The next morning we traveled with my brother Dave to Oakland, where we got ready for Christmas at my parents. My mom and dad were in Germany visiting my brother John and his family, and their flight had been delayed an extra day. So, we decorated their tree and did a little grocery shopping to make their arrival a little bit easier. They were very jet lagged that night, but got settled and unpacked a bit while we make an enchilada dinner. Wes and my brothers went snowboarding at Sugar Bowl on Tuesday, while my parents and I went running and our usual coffee shop visit. That evening we enjoyed christmas caroling and partying at our annual block party at the neighbors house. Christmas Eve morning I went running with my parents and Dave, and came back and we made a huge breakfast. The kids opened Franco family gifts, and we enjoyed treats from Germany. That evening we went back to Napa for our Christmas Eve tradition, and Wes and I loaded up on coffee, got the kids in their PJs, and made the 4 1/2 hour drive back home to Weaverville. We had such a great time with all my side of the family, and my old nieghbors- and everyone just loved meeting Madison and playing with Kylee and Owen. It was hard to leave, but the kids were excited to get home and in their beds before Santa came. They stayed up most of the drive, which is actually a big help, because Kylee is Madison's personal assistant in the car. She is the official "binky replacer, spit-up wiper, and funny-face maker." Madison just lights up and smiles at the kids these days! All three kids fell asleep about 45 minutes from home- just as we were getting into some pretty snowy conditions. We made it home in good time anyway, and Madison woke up to help us with our Santa duties once we arrived. We were in bed by 2, and up with excited kids by 6- but it was all worth it.

Christmas Day- my first official White Christmas! It snowed all day long, but nothing accumulated to much to knock out power or ruin any of our holiday plans. Wes' parents joined us to watch the kids open their gifts and for a nice biscuits 'n gravy breakfast. We spent the rest of the morning opening toys, cleaning up, unpacking a bit, then got ready and headed to Wes' parents house for a family dinner. It was such a wonderful day, very relaxing and so beautiful with the snow fall as a constant backdrop.

This past week was spent with lots of playdates, since the kids are still off school. We've had someone over almost everyday, and have been having fun with all the new toys. New Years Eve we opted to stay home, it's so much easier to stay at our place with the kids- especially a newborn, so we had our friends, the Bradford's- who have 3 kids, too!- over to celebrate the New Year. The kids had SO much fun, and we couldn't believe that none of them even acted tired until well past midnight. Ringing in the new year surrounded by good friends and excited children seemed to really signify this year and where we are in our life right now.

New Years Day we packed up all the Christmas decorations and are now officially done with the holidays. It was so much fun, and completely exhausting, but as always- so wonderful to be able to spend so much quality time with both of our families. We are truly blessed!