Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Zombie Walker

It's official, Gates is a walker! He's been teasing us for months, walking a few steps and then crawling away. My mom is convinced he's been break dancing in his room when we're not looking. But just in time for Halloween, Gates has perfected the zombie walk. He laughs the whole time - maybe he knows it looks like a zombie walk - with his arms and legs a little stiff shuffling along. Way to go little brother! I'm excited for our first race!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Fall is a time full of festivals and our family partakes in all of them! From the hay rides to the corn mazes to the over-the-top 500 foot slides, what's not to love about this time of year?!?!

While I went last year, I slept through most of the action. This year I slid down the slides, road the bikes around the track, fed the animals, bounced in the moon bounces, climbed in the castles - if a festival had it, I did it. A few new discoveries this year included a ball sling shot - which, by the way, my mom says she wants to build in our backyard. A giant sling shot is attached to two posts. You insert a ball, pull back, aim at the target, and let 'er rip! Our mildly competitive family stayed at this activity for well over an hour.

Pictures tell the story best, so here are some of the highlights...

One of the biggest, and most random, highlights was bumping into the Hutchins family at Pumpkinville. It's a long story - and I was actually asleep in the stroller for most of this - but here's the gist. After playing all day outdoors at the Leesburg Animal Park and Pumpkinville, we headed indoors to a play yard because it began to rain. Most every else left at this point, but my mom and her friend chatted on a bench next to a half-wall while Bodie and his buddy played with a little girl on a playland structure. A woman walked over and said, "I can't believe it, it IS Lisa Lybbert." The little girl Bodie had met in the play yard was the niece of one of my mom's closest friends. Here's where it gets confusing...the friend, Amy Hutchins, lives in Washington state. Her parents live in Utah. Her brother's family lives an hour south of DC. They all grew up in California together. Anyway, it was Amy's parents who were visiting her brother's family, all at Pumpkinville at the same time - SMALL world and a big treat to see them.

The BEST part of the festivals was, by far, the events of this video. Thanks to my awesome dad and video technology, we have watched this seven seconds over and over and over again...laughing every single time. Long live the fall festivals!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Uncle Rick

Uncle Rick popped in town unexpectedly for a quick business trip. He was in DC for about 48 hours and we scored a whole evening with him!

We picked him up from the airport, showed him how to eat a variety of snacks in the car while we waited in traffic, played in the yard, ate dinner, tackled each other, and he read us bedtime stories. Pure awesomeness.

Monday, September 29, 2014


I am obsessed with riding a bike. Yes, I know, people say I need to walk first. But really, if I can ride a bike I don't think I'll ever need to walk. Biking is much more efficient and looks super cool. In that vain, I regularly sit on my tricycle in the backyard and pretend I'm riding. While I haven't actually peddled an inch, I know I look pretty good in the seat.

Bodie, as you know, is a bike riding machine. He got on his bike, started peddling, and never looked back. No training wheels, no fear, and no shortage of wipeouts. Speaking of wipeouts...we were headed out on a family ride last week. I was connected to my dad in the trailer, then Bodie, then my mom. There is a busy street between our house and trail. Bodie usually walks his bike across the street, down the hill, and then begins his ride on the trail. But my mom announced this would be the day he'd navigate the busy street and the hill on his bike. It was awesome. Bodie confidently rode across the busy street and safely turned down the side street toward the trail. My mom was praising him from her bike as they rode down the hill. Then we heard her...brakes Bodie, brakes! Bodie BRAKES! BRAKES! USE YOUR BRAKES!!!! SMASH!

Somewhere amid the praise for navigating the busy street, Bodie took his feet off of his pedals and panicked, forgetting how to slow his bike. His bike accelerated down the hill at rapid speed toward the trail and stopped abruptly as he hit a metal guard rail at full speed. Ouch.

NOW I understand the value of helmets. (Bodie should be a spokesperson for our Nutcase brand helmets.) He went head first into the guard rail with the right side of his face taking the second hit. The helmet absorbed 90% of the crash, his sunglasses 8%, and his right eye 2%. A shiner and a small cut under his eye, that's all he got. Helmets RULE! And his steel bike? He hit so hard that his handle bars folded - yes, folded - down to the frame because of the impact. Luckily fixing that just required a tool my dad carries on his bike.

After a minute of crying, and before my mom could get the cold water bottle on his eye, Bodie said, "Let's get going mom. It hurts, but I'm fine." WHAT?!?!! My big brother is a stud. He just smashed his head into a big piece of metal and he's more concerned about getting back on his bike to ride to the park and swing on the monkey bars. Bodie protested, but my mom did get the water bottle on his eye while my dad repaired the bike. And we did make it to the park.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


While we hope this blog is somewhat entertaining to friends and family who follow us, we also use it as a family journal. So in that vain, we have a few items we need to post. Think of this as a quick, disjointed re-cap on the past two weeks in the Piantanida house.

Dave and I attended a friend's wedding on the lawn of the National Building Museum. They set it up like a casual backyard BBQ in the middle of downtown DC - very cool. Great company, great setting, great couple.

Bodie started Pre-K. What's the difference between preschool and Pre-K? To a four year old, a lot. It just means that next year is kindergarten; Bodie is already talking about what's next. The night before his first day of school I asked him, "Who would you like to drive you to school?" I was implying me or Dave - Dave was happy to take the morning off of work to escort him to his first big day. Bodie's reply, "Kari." (Kari is his buddy Poppy's mom. Poppy goes to his school.) Me, "Um, Kari? Not me or dad?" Bodie, "Yea, Kari. You guys have met my teacher. I need to introduce Kari to my new teacher and show her where my cubby hole is." Me, "Um, okay, I'll call Kari." And he was off. He loves school, loves learning, and LOVES the giant social pond. And we love how much he loves it.

New park tricks. Both Gates and Bodie have been charging the parks and pushing themselves to try new challenges. This is the "year of the monkey bars" for Bodie. He decided that even if he can't reach the monkey bars at most playgrounds, he was going to learn to cross them. He continues to learn but really enjoys the physical challenge. He's even figured out how to climb on top of and bear crawl across the top. "Look what I can do," is said an average of 58 times per park visit, (but who's counting!)
While not walking yet (5 steps is his current record), Gates plays on the park equipment like he's 8 years old. He climbs unassisted up any height of stairs, finds a slide, barrels down it, wiggles off to the ground, crawls back to the stairs, and starts all over again. He also loves climbing up the slides, going backwards down the stairs, and repeating it all over again. It is so fun watching them try new stuff and see how far they can push their little bodies.