Day 1 with Emmy involved a meet up & play date for Finley and the kids of TOPS school at the Orinda Park. Finley was so excited – she ran into the park, and immediately found this girl (Frankie) who was a year older and they became instant best friends. I pushed them on the tire swing while they chatted and told jokes and funny stories as if they knew each other all their lives.

It’s funny – every time we come home from a vacation, I notice the kids have a big spike in “seeming to be older” post vacation and this is no exception. Finley came home and started playing with kids (rather than going off to play by herself. She also quickly makes friends and she’s hilarious to listen to as she tells her version of stories. I forget the funny truth she shared with Frankie but I was dying at the time – it was just too cute.

And, Emmy did great – she was a big hit at the park and she stayed super close to Mom. She’s still very nervous around littles but she was a trooper. She came home and promptly took a big nap! Poor girl.

Introducing Emery

She’s here! Meet our dog Emery (Emmy for short). She’s a love and so sweet. And yes, she peed on the rug already. But she’s quickly learning the ropes (she’s literally on a leash all the time as she settles into her new world) and she’s very happy to be here. She’s a bit nervous with the kids yet as she hasn’t had a lot of experience. Holden is doing awesome with her and really understands what he needs to do. Finley is also quite warm to her and doing her best not to squeal at times.

Emery arrived Wednesday afternoon – she is already (as of Sunday) learning tricks, mastering a schedule, playing with Holden, and literally part of my shadow at every step I take. We found some great “bones” for her that occupy her teething habit appropriately (control the environment, not the child, right?)

We rescued her through Love & Second Chances Rescue and have a 1-week trial period to make sure she’s the right fit. I think it is safe to say she is here to stay. Get ready for lots of Emmy posts & photos.

Meeting Emery

We always planned on getting a dog. We (I) promised Holden we would get him a dog when he was 5. He wasn’t yet 2 at the time and I never thought he’d remember. Of course he did. We all know he’s a solid 6 now it we were a year behind with our house.

I had spent a good amount of time researching dogs that would work best for us. A Formosan Mountain Dog kept popping up. It’s a mixed dog from Taiwan and it’s decently medium sized (30-35 lbs), smart, hearty, active and snugly, and most importantly, good with kids.

In my research, I talked with people who have used Love & Second Chances rescue. They’ve managed adoptions of over 500 dogs already. I’ve followed their incoming dogs for some time, and saw our Emery, their Pear, while we were traveling on the Cape.

We did a family meet and greet right before the first day of school and Emery loved everyone. It was very clear she chose us, as she didn’t have the same reaction to another family. When it was time to leave, it was hard to say who was more sad – Emery or the kids.

Clearly this dog was going to be joining our home. Time to stock up on supplies and puppy proof the pad.

Holden’s First Day, First Grade

Yikes! We have a first grader and wow was he excited this am. Such a big change from last year as he knows the school, the kids, and all the staff. We are so happy to be here and have such an amazing place for our son! So proud of you buddy! We love you. Have an awesome year in first grade.

Back in full swing

We weren’t home 12 hours and we were out and about – to a Giants luxury box no less. It was quite a fun day with lots of sugar, smiles, and orange. Welcome home kiddos. It’s back to real life tomorrow.

Summer ’17. It’s a wrap.

You know you’ve given your kids a good run, full of everything they love, when they are so wet and dirty, that you strip them down and dress your 3-year old daughter in your fav denim shirt (only thing you’ve got on hand) and she promptly passes out before you exit the parking lot. 

That, in a nutshell, is exactly how our summer felt. It was insanely busy, full of all good things, and left us all totally wiped out. School may seem like a vacation comparatively. I’m joking. Fall will be just as busy in sure. 

Bye summer ’17. We loved you hard this year.

From the sky

I have to say. I love flying in and out of Nantucket & Hyannis versus driving to Boston. Here’s the view out our window just before we were going to land at JFK to change planes. It makes a very long day of travel but the kids are so used to the routine and amazingly great – we so appreciate it. 

Thanks Jet Blue for a great flight. Free wireless, free movies, free snacks are the trifecta of how to make traveling with kids easiest. 

Cape Cod: The Annual Photo

Getting all 5 kids looking and smiling is not easy. After playing musical spots, using Uncle Scott as a sun shield to block the rays from blinding the kids, and lots of bribery – I think we got one. 

We definitely got some funny ones. For example, Finley is sobbing because I told her she couldn’t be a cat in the photo. 

We are so grateful to Grammy for making this happen, and to our cousins for making it nonstop hilarious and fun. We had some sad deflated kiddos begging to stay another week with their cousins as we left. We will see y’all at Thanksgiving!