I would like to remember tonight and life right now in these moments. I'm likely to forget. Nicholas is 4 1/2 Christiana almost 3 and Avila 4 months...their ages and this phase of life is prime childhood state and when family life for Andrew and I is in full swing. I know this is currently "the good ole days" when the kids are so little. Everything in their eyes is magical, new, and evokes so much wonder.

Nicholas and Christiana have such a strong sibling friendship. It is even virtuous. Christiana always makes sure "Didi" has a snack. Nicholas always reaches up to turn the bathroom light on for Pudding so she doesn't have to go in the dark. They wake up anxious to start their play time, usually being trains or cars.

Almost every day these past few weeks they wake up and look outside and yell, "Mamma the leaves are turning colors!! Fall is coming!!" Then Nicholas will ask if we can drink hot cider and make cookies (because that is what they did in a book we read).

On Saturday went on an "adventure" to Meechies backyard and collected different colored leaves to paste onto paper. Christiana relished using the glue stick and generously coated her leaves over and over.(which when stuck to paper were missing most of their shape and she noticed and said they had holes in them).

Nicholas calculates the months and goes over in his head that summer is ended, this means it is fall and that means winter is coming which means snow. The only sad part about fall for him is that it is too cold to wear his basketball shorts. Since football is is favorite sport (or whatever sport is in season is favorite) he is seen on Saturdays in his helmet and mimicking all the college pros play by play on tv....in our living room. We kindly remind him not to takle Pudding.

Introducing holiday activities to them is a highlight to my life. Since I am sentimental and love traditions, I LOVE being able to start traditions with them.

Tonight was Pumpkin Carving night. As Zuniga tradition would have it, it is proper to wait to Halloween weekend or the night before to carve the pumpkin. Dad would make us each draw out a pumpkin face and he would pick a winner - usually eyes, nose, and mouth each from a different sibling. Then he would start carving - by all means SAVE THE SEEDS! - because mom loves to roast them. Then the lights go out and the "Great Pumpkin" visits...we tell stories and with the candle-lit pumkin and there are usually treats on the floor when the lights come on. This tradition has evolved over many years in our house.

This year the kids are old enough to start something fun. I got them bathed and in their pjs and told them we could have a "Family Movie Night" with popcorn and fruit snacks (a big deal in our house). So I you-tubed Charlie Brown's Halloween. After the show we got out the newspaper and knives and carved away. They ooed and awed at the insides that came out. Avila was kind to let us work while she watched in her swing. We lit the candle and turned out the lights. They loved it. I loved watching them. We then proceeded to have a dance party in the living room. It was a good night.

I'm looking forward to trick or treating this year because Christiana is old enough to remember it and I can't wait to see the reaction on her face when she gets candy at each door in her pillowcase. Lord, thank you for the gift of children.

Maybe Sappy - Just Can't Help It

Frankie Valli puts it best...

You're just to good to be true.
Can't take my eyes off of you.
You're like Heaven to touch.
I wanna hold you so much.
At long last love has arrived.
I thank God I'm alive.
You're just to good to be true.
Can't take my eyes off of you.

Please note my skinny jeans. Trying to hide my leg fat in them, but I think they eccentuate my love flub.

Pardon the way that I stare.
There's nothing else to compare.
The sight of you leaves me weak.
There are no words left to speak,
But if you feel like I feel,
Please let me know that it's real.
You're just too good to be true.
Can't take my eyes off you.

You know you're a mom when: the picture below is soo cute to you. Learning how to grab.

I'll take an order of fat feet everyday.

My days lately our merely relishing her every moment. Thank you Lord for wrapping this little present of yours in layers of fat and puffy goodness. We love our Avila.


The Attendant

Meet Rico Suave. So Aunt Damaris was in the Homecoming court last weekend and the tradition at the school is to have mini attendants. Nicholas was the chosen one. I couldn't help telling him that in order to be an attendant he had to wear sunglasses. Once again, mom gets to play dress up with her children. He took his job very seriously. Part of the role as attendant is getting to ride in the truck bed (oh small town highs) during the Homecoming parade. He had quite the adventure. George McFly and his gal. Pudding thought she would get to ride in the truck too, because there is usually nowhere she goes without Nicholas.

We had many guests come in for the big event. Kristen and Jora came and brought their kids and Mila. Mila brought her own surprise. Lindsay +5 came (without John and baby). Cousin Bridget and Margaret. Kathryn came from Benedictan, and Tim and Hilary (and to the children's delight brought their dogs ;)

Mila's Surprise...Hurray!

Large Marge also made an appearance at Homecoming sporting her skinny jeans and double chin. Since she is almost four months now she's decided to turn a new leaf and sit calm as cucumber during outings. I think she heard too many rumors that she was a fussy newborn. Our little Somebody...



It's been ages since i've blogged...and once you get out of blogging - it's hard going back because no one likes to recap months at one time. but here goes:


- 10 year Franciscan University Alumni reunion - Rugby match - Andrew scores first tri
- I get to see my very bestest friend Anna.
- Avila rolls over at 3 months and 1 week.
- Christiana officially changed her name to Henry (after the train) and corrects us up to

87 times a day if we call her differently.


- Labor Day in Colorado - first time camping and seeing the Rockies - Estes Park

- Avila giggles for first time and for those rare and brief moments I'm in Heaven.


- Andrew's Birthday - at a wine vinyard (in Kansas) hosting a Greek Festival.
- Trip to St.Louis - last hurrah of summer.