baby girl said…

“Mom, what comes after funny two?”

“Twenty two?”

“Yeah, funny two.”

“Twenty three.”

“Oh, yeah. Funny three, funny four, funny five, funny six, funny seven…”

school days

It’s official.

I now have a kindergartner…

…and a preschooler.

I have always loved the beginning of a new school year and I hope to get my kids excited about school each year instead of dreading it.

Last night I set out their clothes, made Reece’s lunch, and got them to bed early.

Today, I set my alarm for 5:30, made a pot of coffee (can you believe all we had in the house was decaf?!), fed the dogs and cat, and made the kids hot chocolate and breakfast.

Then, I headed upstairs to wake my sleepy heads.

Reece was sound asleep in his bed (bedtime was a breeze last night AND he slept in his bed all night) when I slipped into his room an quietly opened the shades on his window. I sat down next to him and put my hand on his back. He rubbed his eyes, stretched, and sat up.

I quietly said, “iIt’s time to get up. You’re a kindergartner today.”

We quietly walked into Lorelai’s room, opened her shades, and sat down on her bed. She sat up quickly, and I reminded her that it was the first day of school.

We went downstairs where the promise of a show and hot chocolate awaited.

Reece ate two scrambled eggs.

Lorelai ate a banana.

Reece listened and obeyed all morning.

Lorelai threw fits about breakfast, her clothes (no skirts, long sleeves, buttons, or ties), and her shoes.

Finally, I got Lorelai dressed and we headed out back for some photos…

They are both attending school at the same school Reece has been at the last two years. The kindergarten is state accredited, but private. Reece has 13 students in his class. Half of them were in his pre-K class last year. It’s awesome to see familiar faces.

It made the morning go smoothly.

One of the first faces he saw was his buddy James who has been in his class since he was 3.

We dropped Reece off at the kindergarten class.

No tears.

I was so proud of the little guy.

{Don’t let this photo fool you, he’s playing it cool}

I took Lorelai to her class, which is right next door.

She wanted me to stay.

I showed Reece to her in the classroom next door (through an adjoining door), handed her off to her teacher and left.

It’s easiest to do it that way.

{And, don’t let this photo fool you, this was way before we got to her class}

Now, you may wonder what I did with my 2 hours of free time…I slept.

I have been battling a cold for the last 10 days and I think it may have turned into a sinus infection.

Yeah, exciting first day of freedom, but I’ve got to get healthy!

When I went to pick Lorelai up they were walking from the gym back to the classroom. She was second in line and doing fine! She saw me and waved, but stayed in line with her class.

We were reunited and she wanted to show me some special things in her classroom.

We went home, had lunch and went back to pick up her brother (in the future, she will probably stay for lunch so I am not driving back and forth all morning).

He had a wonderful day and I think kindergarten is going to be awesome for him.

On the way to school I asked him what he wanted to learn at school today and he said he wants to learn to read!

home is…the beginning of a new school year.

life is good

When I started this post on Sunday night, I was sitting on a deck, with a glass of wine, watching my dad fish as the sun was setting behind a “mountain”.

Meme and Aunt Betsy were snuggling with the kids while they watch a TinkerBell Movie.

We had been at my aunt and uncle’s lake house from 9 am until 5 pm.

Yesterday was pretty much the same…except we stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house for dinner and a bonfire.

The kids have played non-stop.

Reece is not afraid of being in the water.

He is swimming, jumping off docks and rock cliffs, getting on rafts, instigator of water fights, sharing rafts, riding on paddle boards.

He is a social butterfly who makes fast friends with our extended family.

Lorelai is a little bit more timid.

She stands or sits on the rocky beach collecting rocks with her chosen friends…Natalie, Suzanne, and Alyssa.

She won’t put her swimsuit on until the end of the day, and is refusing to put her life vest on to get in the water, but she LOVES to watch her brother…fishing, swimming, playing.

He taught her how to skip rocks…


I didn’t forget about the giveaway

Reece picked a number between 1 and 7…

Kell, you win!

Please e-mail me, homeis(at)stephanytaddeo(dot)com, with your shipping address and I will get the mason jar pendant light to you as soon as we return from vacation!

home is…lakeside.

{summer list} some things are easier to cross off than others

We’ve been checking items off our summer list.


Splash park

Watch fireworks

We had some friends over on the 4th of July. We ate, drank, played, set off fireworks, and walked to the local fireworks show down the street.

And, today…

Potty training

We didn’t check it off, but we inadvertently started. Lorelai wants to wear undies. So, after she got out of bed this morning we put undies on. Shortly after breakfast, I decided that we needed to get out of the house while Ryan worked from home. My plan was to go to Goodwill and see where else the morning took us.

I asked Reece use the bathroom and gave Lorelai the choice to put on a diaper or try to pee on the potty. She refused the diaper, so I told her she would need to go pee on the potty before she could put her undies back on.

We sat in the bathroom for over 3 hours.

Fruit snacks.








Finally, I gave in.

I was tired of sitting in the bathroom and she wanted to get off the potty. It’s been four hours…and, really, 6 hours since she got up and had her diaper changed.

She told me she will let me know when she needs to go.

I even offered her a diaper and she does NOT want to put one on.

We’ve moved outside, and she still hasn’t gone pee…

until just a second ago (at 3:15 pm) when she was standing on the deck and said, “I’m going pee!”

Six hours later.

I’m not sure I’m ready for this.

home is…working on our summer list (some items are easier to cross off than others).

an early spring walk in the burbs

So, I want to blog about our awesome weekend, but I need more time than I have tonight.

We’ve had some incredible spring weather here in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve been out enjoying it.

Our tulips are blooming and I couldn’t be happier about how our new landscaping is looking. We get daily compliments from neighbors.

We’ve had to use ladders for multiple projects lately and our monkeys are quickly learning how to use them!

And, after dinner we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Something that Ryan loves to do with the kids.

Lala brought her baby and Bobo brought his “weapon”.

There were new decorations in a tree in the neighborhood that the kids were fascinated by. I am not sure if they are there to scare the birds away (it might be a cherry tree) or just for fun. Either way, the kids liked them!

He was attacked by a bad guy and I had to save him.

Yeah, good mommy moment…too busy taking photos on my phone…”Hey, she fell down!”

But, if I hadn’t been taking pictures, I would have never caught this moment, right?!

Baby girl was fine.

She’s tough.

We live in the burbs. We only need to carry a nerf gun for protection.

But, leave it to Ryan to make sure we are safe.

And, we got home and the monkey wanted to climb…barefoot.

This guy has no fear when it comes to physical activity!

home is…a beautiful spring day.

breaking the rules

Yesterday morning I took a trip to Goodwill with the kids.

Usually, if they follow my rules, they each get to pick out a toy.

My rules are stay close to mommy, no running, and stay quiet.

They are usually VERY good at following these rules.

Yesterday was no exception, and they each found a toy.

The little guy found a Batman action figure from 2003…I hated to open it because it was new in it’s packaging and worth at least twice as much as we paid for it, but his happiness was worth ripping the packaging open once we got home.

Baby girl liked a little car with a pig in it. While she was riding in the cart and holding her car she realized that it actually  made noise and drove on it’s own and wanted to get out of the cart.

She immediately put it on the ground and let it go.





It raced down the aisle.

And, she raced screaming and giggling after it!

Breaking all my rules.

I have never seen her so happy about something.

She and the little guy set it on the ground and let it go again.





I tried to keep them quiet as an employee looked around the corner to see what the noise was about.

She said, “I love to hear children’s laughter.”

So, I let them laugh.

And, run.

We were on our way towards checking out, anyway.

Baby girl screamed and giggled every time the car drove away.

This was one time that I didn’t mind them breaking my rules.

{Although, I think I came back to haunt me later in the day when they thought breaking my rules was OK when we were at the veterinarian learning how to give Hobbes his insulin injections.}

home is…sometimes breaking the rules is worth it.

“i really want that monkey!”

Source: via stephany @ on Pinterest

This morning baby girl and I took a trip to Trader Joes’ to stock up on food for the week. Usually trips to Trader Joe’s are an adventure for baby girl as she gets to push her own little cart and fill it with her favorite items…bananas, oatmeal, hummus, cheese crunches, and “baby” ice cream cones!

It was going fine until she spotted the gorilla. For those of you who don’t know, a gorilla is hidden somewhere in the store (usually involved in some type of display) and if your kids spot him they can pick a treasure from the treasure chest. It gives the kids something to look for while you shop which, along with filling their own shopping cart, can keep your kids occupied while you get your shopping done.

We’ve never really played the “look for the gorilla” game as the carts keep the kids plenty busy on our shopping trips.

Today, baby girl spotted the gorilla on her own. And, she wanted it.

I told her that she could get a treat for finding it, but that wasn’t good enough.

She wanted the “monkey”.

She wouldn’t push her cart, but she didn’t want me to put her stuff in my cart.

She wouldn’t ride in my cart.

She was crying.


And, for those of you who know baby girl, you know she can be loud.

This morning was no exception.

I grabbed my last item and tried to work my way from the back of the store (where the gorilla happened to be) to the front…all while pushing my cart, carrying baby girl, and pulling her baby cart.

I got a lot of stares.

No one offered to help.


I finally made it to the front and the lines were 3 people deep.

I consoled baby girl, showed her the treasure box, and waited.

A woman next to me finally offered for me to go ahead of her.

Right as we were moving, a TJ’s employee grabbed my cart and said, “I’ll take care of you over here.”

“Thank you, ” I replied.

Baby girl kept crying, “I want that monkey!”

The nice man who came to our rescue gave her stickers.

She kept crying.

We went to get a treat from the treasure chest…a pink ball.

She kept crying, “I want that monkey!”

Another nice TJ’s employee (also a man) came to ask me if she was OK.

I replied, “Yes, thanks for asking. She just wants the monkey.”

We all tried to explain that the monkey lived in the store for all the kids to see.

I am sure she couldn’t hear us through all of her wailing.

Another helpful TJ’s employee came to help bag our goods and take us out to the car.

This was the first time in over 4-1/2 years of going to the grocery store with kids that I have actually taken them up on their offer to help me out to the car.

Baby girl was inconsolable.

I am pretty sure that most of it is because she is not feeling well as she and I have been fighting a head cold since last week.

There were times last week while I was sick and taking care of the kids for 4 days on my own while Ryan was out of town when I just felt like crying. And, at bedtime on Wednesday night I did cry, “I really want you to go to sleep!”

I totally understand her frustration.

But, she got over it, just like I did.

We move on.

We get stronger.

We find the good in every day.

Which, for her (and me) was eating half a bag of TJ’s Baked Cheese Crunches when we got home!

home is…a good cry.

photos from m{i} phone

The last 4 Fridays I have downloaded photos from my iPhone and posted them here on my blog. All the photos that I post can also be seen on my Instagram feed…I am @homeisablog. (find out more about Instagram here)

I like the idea of having the week captured in glimpses through my iPhone. I use it for most of my snapshot taking during the day…it is almost always in my pocket.

I am also participating in a photo a day challenge on Instagram, so some of the photos you see may be kind of random. You can read more about the challenge here. If you’re in Instagram, join in! If you’re not on Instagram, get on Instagram, and join in!

I hope you are enjoying the photos.

Here are some from the last week…