Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tahoe

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..."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Good

Sooooooooo much good. Let's start with my brother. Brothers are awesome. We have played all summer and he's let me hang out with him and do so many fun things. He showed me how to play mini golf while wearing his Bob the Builder helmet and safety goggles for the entire round. He doesn't even get mad when I block the hole and eat his golf ball.

He's learning to skateboard and shows me how to do tricks WHILE looking cool in his movie star glasses. And I learn a new trick at the park from him every week. Thanks Bodie for being the best big brother.

Another "good,"is definitely Uncle Nick's visit. He played with us at the pool, we caught lightening bugs together, launched cars, read books, did puzzles, and just had fun. Thanks Uncle Nick for spending time with us. We loved seeing you!

Next good thing, friends. We played at Glen Echo with my buddies Francesca, Fletcher, and Mitchell. We went to Yards Park with our buddy Hudson. Bodie went to the waterpark with Poppy, Ginger, and Hazel. And we met our new friend Georgia (my mom said I looked too "suspect" to be in the photo in arms-distance of newborn Georgia). We really do have the best friends.

Lastly, let's talk about good knock knock jokes. Bodie is just learning to tell these jokes. I think he's hilarious. But sometimes he laughs and the person he's telling the joke to just looks confused. Keep trying big brother...

video


Lucky us. So much good in our lives!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Fair

Being pretty new to this world, I never quite know what to expect. I'm fastened in to the stroller and my observation of the world begins. We recently went to the Arlington County Fair. A few things stood out to me.

Observation one: People pay money to be strapped into large metal contraptions that make them scream. 

Observation two: The food is large; giant ice cream cones, cups of lemonade that could quench the thirst of a small village, and sausages longer than my arm!

Observation three: Rides that fling you around and giant food may not be the best combination. (Perhaps they should have a Saltine cracker and Ginger Ale booth too.)

Observation four: Who invents this crazy stuff? (Apparently George Washington Gale Ferris, an engineer who began his career in the railroad industry and later built the first Ferris Wheel. I'm guessing the guys who built the Zipper, Screaming Swing, and Tilt-a-whirl were a bit more eccentric.)

I made the height requirements for three rides - the train, the carousel, and the giant slide. Bodie also enjoyed the ferris wheel, several car rides with ridiculously loud horns, and fishing in the games area. He's pretty used to hearing, "nope, no quite tall enough, maybe next year." Whether it's waterparks, Disneyland, or the fair, Bodie's height and fearlessness do not match up. He'll go on any ride they allow; and he's a pretty good sport when he comes up a few inches short.

It may only be called a "fair," but I think it's much more fun than that!

 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Bad, The Fair, and The Good

Let's start with the bad. My mom wiped out. Not the embarrassing-trip-and-fall and everyone laughs type of wipe out. More like the she thought there was just one step but there were actually three, skydive-drop-without-a-parachute type of wipe out....while holding Gates. Before you panic, Gates is fine. Now let me continue with my story.

We had just picked some tomatoes and were leaving my friends' house when my mom stopped on the stairs to say something to the other mom. Then she turned around to step off, only to realize in mid air that she had a few more steps to go. Based on the expression on her face and the contortion of her body to correct this miscalculation, I knew it wasn't going to end well. This was confirmed when she landed on the concrete and was no longer holding Gates.

In the midst of the fall she launched him into the air - though the other mom later said she "softly dropped him" which was a nice way of saying the same thing - angels grabbed him, and set him down on his bum!  Yes, he landed on his bum and not his head. Unfortunately for him, he was also biting a cherry tomatoe at the time and the impact with the ground made the tomatoe shoot out of his mouth and he bit a hole in his tongue. THAT was messy. (By the way, we probably owe our friends a new beach towel from the clean-up.) Oh, and the first thing I said to my mom, as she and Gates laid there on the concrete, "Ah man, some of the tomatoes got squished." (I knew they'd eventually be okay.)

A nice stranger ran across the street with a horrified look on his face offering to help. He then quickly returned with a giant Popsicle in hopes of getting Gater to suck on it. Gater was too busy screaming at my mom so I helped him out and ate the Popsicle for him. Once the moms determined Gates hadn't hit his head, the bleeding from his tongue stopped, and no ER visit was necessary, my mom tried to casually collect herself and head home. Even with close friends this was an awkward moment. My mom said it was like after someone tells you your zipper is down or that your skirt is tucked in your nylons. It's just kind of hard to recover gracefully. Nevertheless, we departed.

Gates seemed fine when we got home, but my mom wanted to make sure his mouth was okay so she gave us  each a Popsicle. This time he was happy to take it and begged for a second and a third. My mom's guilt was enormous so six Popsicles later, she finally decided he would survive. This was also about the same time she realized SHE was limping.

Her right foot was swollen and had skin missing from both the left and right side of that foot (how do you do that?!??), both knees were swollen and bruised, her right elbow was skinned, and she said her back felt like she'd been in a car accident. She'll be okay too, just a bit slower this week on the tennis court.

So what's The Fair and The Good you ask? Keep watching for posts, they will be up soon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gates is One!

This is me. I'm one. I woke up on my birthday to find my family in my bedroom singing Happy Birthday and taking my picture - luckily I had on cool moose pajamas. As a first-timer with birthdays, I don't have a lot of experience to pull from, but I can definitely say that anything involving cake, parties, and presents is a good thing.

The doctor says I'm 24 pounds and 31 inches tall with a 19" head. That means I'm 85% weight, 65% height, and 95% head! Lots of people say Bodie and I look alike. Personally, I think his head looked kinda like a bowling ball when he was one, but if I'm lucky enough to turn out like my big brother, that would be cool.Here's the post from when he turned one  http://piantanidafamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/1-year-4x-size.html.

Having a big brother is a bonus on birthdays because he helped me open my gifts, show me how they work, explained the importance of cake in our diet, demonstrated how to blow out a candle, made me a card with my name on it, and was pretty much awesome. While I was in Heaven, Bodie prayed a lot for me. He would ask God every night for a baby until finally, God agreed to send me. I think he was a key reason I got to come o Earth and have a birthday. I thought I'd celebrate him on my birthday. Here's the card and gift I gave him for getting me to Earth.

And here he is showing me how to use some of my awesome new toys.
And now for the party. My mom made a 2 1/2 foot long alligator cake - because a lot of people call me Gater. My dad lit the candle, everyone sang, and then I attempted to put out the fire with my hand. This is not the preferred method at birthday parties, so Bodie came to my rescue and blew the fire out.
 
We also had a "toss the rings on the gator" game. My dad was victorious with three of six of his rings landing on the gator's nose or tail. I stunk at the game so I decided it was more fun to chew of the rings and tackle the gator. I was the winner at that game.

Lastly, here's a picture of my buddy Gus and me. Not the prettiest photo of us, but we sure look like we're having fun (and where did my pants go!?!?!)