Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all the best for 2009.

No Wonder The Dogs Love Currier

This is the type of crap that happens when I don't occupy Currier with an activity while I nurse Rya. Notice Currier is also eating the dog treats—ick!

Daddy's Girl

I think Rya is going to be just like her daddy—laid back!

Look Out

Currier is hauling precious cargo!

The Wonderful Aunt Carrie

Aunt Carrie came for a quick visit to meet her newest niece. It was so wonderful to have an extra set of hands. Carrie had the magic touch with getting Rya to fall asleep. I swear every time she picked her up she would doze off! As always, Currier enjoyed his time with Aunt Carrie. He especially liked showing off his new train set. We can't wait for her next visit!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Return of Captain Caca

After a brief regression due to the birth of his baby sister, Captian Caca is back with a vengeance! It's been four whole days without an accident. Let's hope diapers are a thing of the past for this super hero!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we made cookies, cleaned up the house, wrapped some last minute presents, made snowmen out of cotton balls, took a long nap, had the neighbors over for cocktails and appetizers, left a plate of cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer, read Twas the Night Before Christmas and went to bed anxious for Santa's arrival!

Christmas Day

On Christmas morning, Currier and Rya didn't wake us until 8am—it was truly a Christmas miracle! When asked "Did Santa come?" Currier ran straight to the plate of cookies and carrots to find only crumbs. Santa and his reindeer had indeed come to the Balent house!

Santa left us lots of presents under the tree and also set up Thomas the Tank Engine motorized train tracks in the corner of the living room. Currier was so enthralled with the presents under the tree it took him 10 minutes to notice the train set. It was love at first sight and his reaction was so precious that Trent and I nearly cried.

Rya spent her first Christmas just chilling out on the couch catching a buzz on breast milk. Most of her gifts were baby necessities such as diapers and wipes, but Santa did splurge on a mini tiara which Rya refused to take off. She's such a princess!

Even though Trent thought it ridiculous, Santa didn't forget about the dogs. They got dog treats and squeaky balls. Being Italian, notice how Paolo and Bruco greet each other with cheek kisses!
Our family had a wonderful, relaxing Christmas and we hope you did too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One Month Old

Dear Rya D.,

You are one-month-old today. I don’t know where the time went. It feels like it was just yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital and yet the adjustment was so swift that I feel like you’ve always been a part of our family.

I’m much more relaxed and confident as a mother the second time around so I feel like I’m able to enjoy you more. I know this time goes by in a flash so I relish in every second because I know I will never get these moments back. You love to be held and I love holding you so we get along just fine. I could stare at you for hours. I love your crazy Pat Benatar hair, your dainty fingers, your Balent nose, your pouty lips, your double chin and your skinny legs. You have serious eyes, a sweet-raspy cry and the softest hands. You’ve already grown and changed so much in these four short weeks.

As I watch you grow, I want to stop the world and hold you. I want to protect you from everything bad. I wish I could promise that you will never feel sad, angry or betrayed. I can’t promise you that, but I can promise you love. Your father, brother and I love you more than you could possibly know and I hope you will always feel our love.

All my love,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crafts With Currier

I've been trying to keep Currier busy with "projects" while I nurse Rya. Glitter-gluing decorations on little paper Christmas trees was one of such "projects". If anyone has any clever suggestions for other "projects", please email me. I'm always looking for fun/crafty things to do to keep Currier out of trouble.

James Island Holiday Festival of Lights

We took the kids to the Holiday Festival of Lights at the James Island County Park over the weekend. It was a three mile drive with hundreds of displays and millions of lights. It was a lot of fun and really impressive. We plan to make it a family holiday tradition every year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meeting Santa

We took Rya and Currier to meet Santa over the weekend. Currier asked Santa for choo choos, cars and blue cars. Rya asked Santa for the ability to sleep through the night... Funny, that was my wish too!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Getting Ready For Santa

The house is decorated, the Christmas tree is up and Currier is so excited for Santa to come. This is the first Christmas that I think Currier "gets it" so I've been using "Santa" as a negotiating tool.

It's funny, I was fully expecting Currier to be jealous of Rya but he's not at all—he absolutely adores her. Instead he's been defiant towards me which is probably a lethal combination of the terrible twos and realizing he's not the center of my attention anymore. It's been a very challenging couple of weeks but now that the tree is up and the anticipation of Santa is in the air, it's amazing how quick a child will do what he is told when there is the threat that Santa might not come. I think I might leave the tree up all year round!

Rya's 1st Bath

Rya's umbilical cord stub finally fell off yesterday so we were able to give her a bath. Of course Currier insisted on taking a bath with her which was fine by me since I was able to kill two birds with one stone.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

All My Children

This is pretty much how we spend a majority of our day and if you look close enough you can actually see the life being sucked out of me by all these parasites!

Rya's 1st Doctor's Appointment

Rya had her 1st doctor's appointment this week. It only took three hours to get the kids and I bathed, dressed, feed and out the door and that was with my cousin Cheryl's help. Trent is back to work now and Cheryl went back to Massachusetts so now I'm on my own. The honeymoon is over and now it's time to see if I can handle it on my own. Stay tuned for the nervous breakdown!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Rya's first Thanksgiving was a lovely, quiet one... even if it looks like Currier is choking Rya and Rya is biting Currier in this picture.

My cousin Cheryl flew in on Thanksgiving day to spend the holiday with us and to help us out for a week. We are so THANKFUL to have her here!

Comfortably Numb

This is Rya's milk drunk face. It's very similar to her Mama's Margarita drunk face.

Choking Hazard

Last night Currier caught me pop a peppermint candy in my mouth and asked if he could have a piece. I said, "Oh no Currier, these are a choking hazard!" He followed up with, "Can I please have a choking hazard?" The child should be a comedian!

I'm Not Sure But,

I think Currier might be regressing a little bit!

Big Brothers

All of Rya's big brothers adore her. Our house is bursting at the seams with love!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Welcome Rya Diane Balent

Rya Diane Balent joined our family on November 17th 2008 at 1:03 PM weighing 9lbs 4ozs and measuring 20 ½ inches long. She was delivered via scheduled c-section (a lot easier and less panic than Currier's emergency c-section!) by Dr. Geier at the East Cooper Regional Medical Center.

We chose the name "Rya Diane" because I liked the name Riley (a nice Irish name) and Trent liked the name Raya (Hebrew for 'light') so we compromised and named her Rya. Diane was my late mother's name so naturally we honored her.

We knew Rya was going to be a big baby but we had no idea that I was giving birth to a third grader! At 9lbs 4ozs, she was just 2oz shy of Currier's birth weight.

Currier is thrilled to have a baby sister. He wants to hold her, kiss her, hug her and give her Eskimo kisses. So far he's been really gentle with her. Let's hope he stays that way!

Trent's parents, Mimi and Papi, came up from Florida to be here for the birth of their eighth grandchild and to take care of Currier during our 4 day hospital stay. Thank you Mimi and Papi!

Rya shares her birthday with both of her grandfathers, Papi Balent and Papa Currier. We had a little birthday celebration to honor the BIG day. Currier now associates hospitals with ice cream cake and party hats!

And now we're a family of four (actually six counting Bruco and Paolo!) and we couldn't be happier! Thank you for all your well wishes.

Look out... Rya D. is in the house!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The big day is here! Today, I have a scheduled c-section at 12:30. My stomach is in knots with excitement and nervousness and I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that in just a few short hours, I will meet my daughter. I can't wait to love her! Thank you for your support and prayers. Stay tuned for news and pictures.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pilgrim Peepee

Currier and I decorated the house for Thanksgiving this morning and Currier wanted to know why the Pilgrim was holding his pee pee. The kid is a total laugh riot ... and wow that's one big pee pee!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Touching the Moon

Over the weekend we took Currier to see Madagascar 2. It was the first time we've taken him to the movies since our move back to America. Once his candy was gone he lost interest pretty quick and only lasted 40 minutes. It was a disappointment considering the tickets, popcorn, candy and drinks totaled $50! Outside of the movie theater they had one of those bungee trampoline things and Currier insisted on trying it. Seeing Currier jump in fits of laughter and scream "Weeeeee!" made the $50 forfeit worth it!

The Final Countdown—7 Days To Go!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Giorno dei Morti

Since Currier was born in Italy, we want him to grow up with a couple of Italian traditions. One of the traditions that we decided to bring back to America with us is "Giorno dei Morti" or "Day of the Dead". Today, Italians remember their dead ancestors and visit their graves with flowers and candles. In the morning, children find presents brought to them by the dead. This tradition is a way of keeping the memory of the dead alive. Rather than fear death, Italians embrace the circle of life by passing on the connection with their ancestors to their children. This morning, Currier woke to find this goody bag on his bedroom doorknob. He screamed in delight when he opened it and found two little airplanes and a Reese's Peanut Buttercup from his ancestors. Don't you wish dead people would bring you toys and candy?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Buon Compleanno Bruco

Bruco, our Italian Greyhound, turned five-years-old today! We celebrated his special day with mini cheeseburgers. Bruco's birthday gift was the two months of obedience training that we spent a 1/2 of mortgage payment on! We love you, Bruco Balent. We're happy that you're a part of our family you crazy, neurotic dog! Happy Birthday.

Halloween Festivities

It's been a whole week full of Halloween festivities! First, we carved a pumpkin and the damn thing rotted before Halloween. Second, our HOA threw a party at the community clubhouse with a jumpy castle, lots of games, prizes, food and to our little fireman's excitement—a firetruck! Third, Currier's preschool took all the kids trick or treating to all the neighboring businesses. And finally, last night our fireman went trick or treating with our neighbors, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. It was a fun week full of candy but I'm glad it's over—Phew! Now it's time to come down off this sugar high and work on getting this baby out of me!