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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


As you may remember, Linus from the Peanuts carried his blanket everywhere. So does Gates. While he is definitely a rough and tumble little guy with nicknames like bruiser and the destroyer, he is also totally and completely in love with his little, blue blanket.

Often carried in his mouth or on his head, this blanket has seen more sights than most people see in a lifetime. It's been out of the country, on the beach, to the park, and in the bathtub. Yes, the bathtub. My mom also wants me to mention that it has seen the inside of the washing machine almost the same number of days it has been in Gates' possession. With such a wild life, detergent is its best friend.

Thanks little blanket for bringing so much happiness to my brother's life.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Just saying the word Tahoe puts a smile on my parents' face. If you've never been there, you should go. It's a giant outdoor playground with a huge lake in the middle. What a lot of people don't realize is there are also several smaller lakes hidden in the mountains around Lake Tahoe, so there are really endless options for adventure. We had an hour layover in Salt Lake City on our flight to (and from) Tahoe. As a total bonus, my grandparents met us AT our gate and hung out for the hour in the airport - how fun is that!?!?! (and yes, clearly my grandma has the travel agent hook up!)
Amy, Garth, Aidan, and Layla met us in Tahoe (they live in California) and joined in the fun. We hiked, swam, paddled, climbed the rocks, jumped off the rocks, rowed, paddle boarded, built sand castles, and had the best time.


Check out the landscape (I recently learned that word) - mountains, trees, rocks, water, blue sky...paradise.

We played a ridiculous amount of mini golf, though can you really get too much mini golf. I got a hole in one on a hole with a graveyard. Kind of fitting for the hole because both of my parents choked on that hole and their game died - ha! Gates chased after several golf balls, blocked endless shots, and actually picked a few balls up and dropped them in the hole (those were my favorite Gater Assists).
Tracie (Furr) and Dylan Reno along with King and Carol Cevolani met us at Pope Beach for the day. My mom and Dylan's mom met when they were our age at the bus stop (I didn't know there were cars that long ago!?!) Our family scored great weather AND great company that day.

At Amy's advice, we tried a new bike route and LOVED it. We rode from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley. It was a beautiful ride along the Truckee River. Gater and I entertained each other in a trailer while our mom and dad peddled. My mom said it was one of her most favorite rides because my dad was pulling approximately 100 pounds of kids and stuff. This extra load almost equaled out their riding abilities, she even passed him twice! (which NEVER happens). We played Squaw's mini golf course (why not!?!?), took the tram to the top of the mountain, and hiked.

You know how you know it's a good trip, when the last thing you say before you get on the plane is "I wish we could live in Tahoe forever..."