Posted by: littlebitofparadise | May 7, 2012

A milestone, a monumental achievement, a million dollar smile, and much more…

So much has happened in the Weinert family circus since my last post, so now that my two little bears are down for a nap I just had to take a few minutes and tell you all about it!

1. Family Work Day

On Friday MacGyver had the day off, so we did a bunch of yard work around the house. Well, the honest truth is Mac did 99.9999% of the yard work,  and I watched from the deck, sipping iced tea  and throwing softballs with Mark and bouncing Luke (someone had to babysit while the other worked by the sweat of his brow, right???).

We (i.e. the Hubs) trimmed a ton of the shrubs around our property. Lest you think I exaggerate, check out the line of shrub-filled garbage cans we left for the garbage truck this morning.

2. A Million Dollar Moment

While the Hubs was on the lawn working on his vacation base tan (and mowing the lawn), Mark and I officially opened pool season on Tombreck Court by setting up his inflatable pool on the deck. I have rarely seen my kid so excited. He could hardly stand it while I was huffing and puffing and blowing up this little pool. The second it was on the deck, he jumped inside and sat down, happy to just be there while I went to find the hose. The water was colder than ice cubes, but my water baby didn’t care one bit. Here he is probably half way to hypothermia but having the time of his life:

My dad saw this pic on Facebook and emailed me saying “I told the family that Mark’s smile in his el cheapo Walmart blow-up pool is wider than a guy sitting on his million dollar yacht!”

3. Celebrating a Sacrament

On Saturday we traveled up to Pennsylvania to attend my nephew Christopher’s First Holy Communion. It was a beautiful service, followed by a rocking fun party at my in-laws. Here’s a pic of Christopher with his two older siblings, Emma and Nick:

As I was sitting in the pew at Chris’ First Communion, I was reflecting on the fact that this was a milestone not only for my nephew, but also for my sis-in-law Caroline: she was watching her youngest receive the greatest Sacrament. I started daydreaming about 5-6 years down the road when Pete and I get to watch Mark receive Jesus. I can’t wait, but I also hope the time goes slowly. He’ll be 23 months the end of this week so growing up way too fast already!

4. A Monumental Achievement

The Hubs is taking us on a family vacation for Mother’s Day, so he and the boys showered me with gifts THIS weekend in a pre-celebration. They gave me the food processor and pasta-maker attachments to my Cuisinart stand mixer. I was elated! …and of course had to try them both out immediately.

I literally picked all three of the basil plants clean from the backyard and made a super-delicious basil pesto. YUMMO is all I can say about it. The food processor works like a dream!

And then the monumental achievement – I tried my hand at making homemade pasta, and it actually worked! Since I’m only a wannabe Italian, I was nervous about making homemade spaghetti for our Sunday supper without a backup plan. Since I’m not the world best “follow the directions” cook, I couldn’t follow the cookbook recipe for homemade spaghetti at least for the first time I was trying this. That would be too common-sense-ish, right? So I substituted white whole wheat flour for the white flour in the recipe. At first it looked like a big flop, but I added some extra egg and in the end, I think it turned out okay for a first try.

The Hubs gave dinner high praise, but I wasn’t as big of a fan. I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to making the perfect pasta dough, and cooking fresh pasta al dente. The recipe told me fresh pasta takes “anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes to cook.” Well that was tremendously helpful (cough).

So any of my native Italian friends reading my blog – you are cordially invited to please come over to my house ANY time and we’ll have a pasta making class in my kitchen. We’ll open a bottle of chianti and have a party, and I’ll take lots of notes.  And in the meantime, if you lovely Italians have any fresh pasta cookbook recommendations (I promise I’ll be good and follow directions) or general advice, please do post it!

5. Another Monumental Achievenment

This is an even BIGGER monumental achievement for the Weinerts. Mark got a real, bonafide, not-Mom-butchering-his-hair-at-home haircut at the barber shop!

I was not invited to come and watch. The only other time in Mark’s entire life I was not allowed to be in the room for something was when he was 48 hours old and had a spinal tap in the E.R. to determine why he had spiked a dangerously high fever on his second day of life. That’s just to give you an idea of how big a deal getting a haircut is for Mark. He HATES it.

Thanks to a lovely lady at the Nokesville Sports Clips and three delicious Dum-Dum lollipops, Mark and Daddy both survived the ordeal and lived to talk about it. Check out this Cutey Boy’s new ‘Do!

6. Double Trouble

So we bought a double stroller this weekend! We already have a double jogging stroller, but it’s too big to fit in our car, thus we can only use it for adventures originating from home.

In the spirit of Dave Ramsey, the Hubs and I are determined to keep my trusty Honda Civic as the family vehicle until a Baby #3 forces us into a soccer van. The downside is, since Luke arrived I haven’t been able to go anywhere where a shopping cart is not available to contain my bear cubs. Until now that is!

We did our research and found that Baby Trend makes a double stroller that is super-compact. It fits into the trunk of our Civic, so watch out Washington D.C. Zoo, Frying Pan Park, and the MALL (heehee) – we’re coming to see you SOON!

7. We’re going to Paradise. 

The Hubs is taking the boys and me on a family vacation to Paradise this week. I’ve heard they also call it St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to go sit on a beach and work on my tan, and how grateful I am for a hubby who knows how to research and book an extravagant vacation on a shoestring budget. He rocks my world.

8. I gave birth to Goliath. 

In my excitement about the upcoming trip to Paradise, Pete babysat the boys and let me run out to shop for some new summer outfits for the bear cubs. Matching outfits, of course. I’m allowed to insist they match – it’s my right for giving birth to two boys in 17 months. LOL.

I thought I was being generous with Luke’s thighs by buying him the size 12-18 months outfits for our trip. Surely my chubby 5-month old will fit THAT size, right?

So I took the outfits home for the boys, promptly washed them to get ready for packing, and then decided to try the shorts on Luke to make sure they weren’t too big.

I couldn’t get the shorts over Luke’s thighs, let alone his hips. My kid is HUGE! When I started my woeful lament to Pete he suggested half jokingly well, try Mark’s shorts on him and see if they fit.

My five month old fits my Toddler’s 2T shorts. Barely.

These boys are way too sneaky finding ways out of having to match! I’ll have to get more creative with my ploy next time.

So that’s a round up of the weekend’s activities! Off to continue my laundry folding and trip packing. Can’t wait to post pics of our toes in the sand next week! Be prepared – Luke will most likely be pants-less.



  1. DYING to know what double stroller you got!!! I’ve been doing research galore…loving your posts Steph…you’re a natural!!! -Sarah

    • Hi Sarah! Our double stroller was a LIFESAVER on vacation – we love it! I’ll email you the exact make and model we purchased so you can check it out.

  2. We enjoyed having you, Pete, Mark and Luke at the Church and at the party on Saturday. You are right Steph, it is an honor and privilege to have my youngest child receive Christ’s Body and Blood for the first time. This event was made that much more special by having other faithful followers of Christ be present in body and spirit (our mom)! Love you buddies! Caroline

  3. Steph, I love reading your blog! 🙂 A monumental weekend indeed! Enjoy St. Thomas – it’s beautiful!

  4. I love your little descriptions of stay at home mama life!!
    And I am so happy for/envious of yalls trip to St Thomas!!! Jason and I went there for our honeymoon… We can’t wait to be able to take Will back w us… We want to stay at St Johns next time, near the national park!
    Can’t wait to read about your adventures – I have so many beautiful memories of those islands!!
    Hope you got to enjoy a Painkiller too 🙂

    • Thanks Kallah!
      We had a wonderful time on St. Thomas and St. John’s. Where did you stay on St. Thomas? The National Park area of St. John’s was our favorite too – Mark loved chasing the chickens all over the place. And yes, the painkillers were definitely flowing. 😉 Yum! Pete and I want to figure out how to make them that good here at home. We discovered the cheapest place to buy Cruzan on the islands: KMART of all places!

      • We stayed at the big pink Wyndham resort – don’t remember exactly what it was called right now! Mom brain :/
        Wait I will facebook message you a recipe for Painkillers that my Aunt Sheril gave me… she and my uncle sailed a boat from Orlando down to the V.I. last year, and she is one of those people who always seem to find the best, most gourmet recipes for everything!
        I’ll send you the message sometime today 😉

      • Did you stay at the Wyndham Elysian on the East Side? or Bluebeards closer to downtown? Pete owns a Wyndham timeshare, so that’s where we stayed too! Such a small world eh? 🙂

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