Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Buh Bye 2008

It's been an amazing year, and we will have many wonderful memories from 2008. For any that are venturing out tonight, please be as safe as possible and avoid driving while under the influence. Otherwise - We hope you have a ball!! When the clock strikes midnight, we will be thinking of you and wishing you many blessings for 2009!

Anyone have any really unique and fun activities planned for tonight? We're staying in this year. Tommy will (hopefully) go to bed around 8, then we'll enjoy a nice quiet dinner with both a cheese fondue and a beef broth fondue I found recipes for online. We've got a nice assortment of meats, veggies, and bread, as well as a bottle of wine we haven't opened yet. It's sure to be a scrumptious and romantic way to ring in the new year.

It snowed for a couple hours today, so I thought I'd post some pictures of us out in it. Tommy was ready for his nap when we took him outside (I had a feeling it would melt away by the time he woke up and I was right)....so he was a little grumpy, but I think he still had a pretty good time. Maverick LOVES the snow, so he was racing around Tony and I while we played with Tommy in the snow and pulled him on his new sled he received from Uncle Mikey and Aunt Nicole for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pheww… looks like we all survived the holiday craziness. Good for us!

We had a wonderful holiday. We started out Christmas Eve at my MIL’s house, enjoying a lunch of shrimp & my personal favorite cheese – manchego. It was a quick lunch then we raced around back at our house while Tommy napped, getting ourselves ready for the annual Christmas Eve party spent at my cousin’s house along with most of the family from my father’s side. It was the first time many of them met Tommy, and I was proud to say he was a very good boy throughout the late afternoon and evening. He did get a little fussy towards the end of the night, but apparently he was tired enough to pass out in Tony’s arms. It was adorable! We learned a valuable lesson once we arrived home later that night, and we will do our best to never again miss the baby’s bedtime routine hour. YIKES. No sooner had we arrived home when Tommy was wide awake and ready to play the night away. Finally he went to bed around midnight…only to wake back up, and go back to bed (eventually) at 5 AM. Finally all were up at 7:30 for Christmas morning looking exhausted but ready to celebrate! We each received very nice, and sometimes surprising gifts. Amongst Tommy’s favorites was a brand new hot rod pedal car – a special gift from his Daddy. He spotted his hot rod the minute we brought him downstairs Christmas morning, and was practically leaping out of my arms to get to it. He enjoyed his other gifts including the clothes and socks Santa Claus left for him, but so far the peddle car is his favorite…he’ll eventually reach the floor when sitting in it. For now he’ll have Tony (and me) to help push him around the house…lucky guy. I also received a really great gift…a Nintendo NES – yeah that’s right the old school one – complete with Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt and Tetris. This gift, from Tony, was one that I’ve wanted for some years now…it brings me back to my childhood playing it now. Good times people, good times. Christmas morning my folks stopped by to deliver some great stuff for all of us, including a little plastic snow globe which Tommy loves. It has his favorite character, Tigger, inside along with Pooh Bear and Piglet. They are surrounded by swirling snow. Of course, Tommy tries to eat it every time I hand it over to him. We spent most of the rest of the day with Tony’s family at his Mom’s house. We always get together for a delicious Christmas meal of eggs benedict, homemade fried potatoes, sausage, mimosas, and lots of cookies. By the afternoon we were all exhausted from all the partying, eating, and gift opening, so we made some frozen pizza for dinner, and everyone went to bed early. Friday I ventured out to Bed Bath & Beyond to pick up part of my Christmas present. I had been wanting new dinnerware. So for Christmas my parents gave me one set of four place settings (and some great extras like a giant serving platter), and my MIL gave me money to go and get the other set of four. Lets just say I learned my lesson about the day after Christmas shopping. O.M.G. YIKES!!! I will never do that again. A ride that usually takes me 20 minutes at the most (with traffic) took me over an hour to get there, and about a half hour to get home. The only silver lining is that I now have enough place settings to sit 8 people at my table with my brand new adorable dishes, that I love love love so much! Saturday day and night I worked on my culinary skills by attempting my own twist on a recipe I saw Giada De Laurentiis make for Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/grilled-and-stuffed-portobello-mushrooms-with-gorgonzola-recipe/index.html
I am not a fan of mushrooms, so instead I served it on slices of yummy French bread…though I did fry up some mushrooms to put on top of a few of the ones I gave to Tony. I also put some spinach on mine and they were excellent. I’ll admit…they could have looked a little more appetizing, BUT for my first attempt at making something a little outside the box (at least for me), I think it was smashingly good! Saturday night I threw a nice dinner together for Tony, his mom, and my SIL Diana. A delicious slow cooked ham with potatoes augratin, and some yummy buttered green beans, all served up on my brand new plates! For desert we had a chocolate cake with chocolate icing in the shape of a castle to celebrate Tony’s birthday. Sunday, I met up with my girlfriend Tana for coffee at Starbucks (the iced pumpkin spice latte was EXCELLENT – I highly recommend it) . In the afternoon we has some friends over to watch the big Eagles game (I enjoyed some girl-talk with our friend Danelle), were Tony grilled up some ribs, and we all enjoyed cheesesteak stromboli, along with leftover cake and holiday cookies. Tommy received a really nice Christmas gift...check it out. It's a Flyers jersey (ice hockey for those who don't know). The back has our last name and the numbers #08 for the year Tommy was born. Cute, right! Needless to say it has taken me a couple of days to wind down from all of the holiday craziness, sort through the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of pictures I took on Christmas day, and to get my house back in working order….just in time to think about how we’re going to celebrate the end of a wonderful year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours!
We wish you many blessings and sweet surprises, today, and always!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Santa rode by our home tonight with a little help from the local fire department. So here are a couple snap shots, and a video. Also, we were asked by a few people if we had video of our house all lit up for the holidays. So here it is!

Waiting for Santa
Santa's Wild Ride Video
video
Posing and Waving
Our House Lights
video

Monday, December 22, 2008

8 Is Gggggrrreeeaaaattt!

Tommy is 8 months old now! I can’t believe how big our little man is getting! He hasn’t quite gained the confidence to start crawling yet, but Tony and I feel it will be any day now. We were laughing as we explained to friends of ours how exciting it was when he began to crawl/turn in a circle last weekend, and that every time he gets into the crawling position, whatever activity we were involved in is immediately forgotten as we drop to the floor, to encourage Tommy to crawl for the first time.
He amazed us last night. First, I should tell you that lately he has been trying to play with all of Mavericks dog toys – including trying to put Mav’s chew bone in his mouth. (Yuk!) So there we were on the floor with him during belly time. We saw him staring at Mav’s dog bed, but really didn’t pay any mind to it. Next thing we knew he reached over and tilted Mav’s bed so that the chew bone which was lying inside fell out and into his arms. We laughed and marveled at how “brilliant” our little guy was, as Tony tucked the chew bone near himself, and away from Tommy’s reach. Amazingly enough…Tommy was not giving up so easily. He proceeded to first turn himself so that he could try to reach for the chew bone again, then when that did not work, he rolled himself over towards Tony – and right to the chew bone! He were laughing hysterically. Of course, we couldn’t let him have his prize, but we clapped for him and tickled his belly. He was being silly this morning, so of course, I had to video tape him!
video
He’s too funny. Sometimes I’ll see him stop and stare at something, and I swear he is just trying to figure out the mechanics of the thing. He’s just like his daddy – soon he’ll be taking my furniture apart just to see how its put together!
Tommy has also begun to do a sort of bop dance whenever he hears music that he likes. So far his favorites are Styx (yay!), Led Zeppelin, The Who, and the song “Frosty The Snowman.” He also has two musical toys that he’ll play over and over and over again. We picked up a little toy piano as part of Tommy’s Christmas gifts, and we know he’s going to love it (though he may drive us nuts with it hahaha)!
He’s also learned to love bathtime. The last time I gave him a bath in our kitchen sink, he splashed so much that there was water Everywhere! It was all over the floor, all over the counter, and all over me (see pic below). Luckily…he did manage to get himself all clean with his splashing too. We’ve since began to bathe him in the big tub in our upstairs bathroom. In there he can splash as much as he wants too! Right now he only has a little rubber ducky to play with while in the tub, but come Christmas morning he’s getting a little bag full of little tub characters to play with.
The last of Tommy’s recent accomplishments, is that he is really trying very hard to communicate with us. Whenever someone talks with him he watches their mouth, and then tries to mimic the movements they make. He can make some noises, but the best has been him saying “Dadadadadada” “Duhduhduhduhduh” (Doggie), “Bahbahbahbah” (Bottle), and once in a while he’ll even say “Mamamamama,” which melts my heart and makes me so proud of my little guy. He can also shake his head “yes” and “no,” though I’m pretty sure he’s not completely aware of their meanings yet.
Of course, with all this positive growth….comes…well....something not so great. Temper Tantrums. Yikes – is all I have to say to this. To be honest, I’m still trying to recover from the gigantic one he had last night, it was horrible. Not only do these tantrums include kicking and crying, but screeching, hair pulling (his own), and a super runny nose. Last night it took me giving him a bath just after midnight in order to finally calm him down. If there is one positive thing about the tantrums, its that my son know’s what he wants, and won’t give up until he gets it! All in all, he’s a really happy and sweet little guy. Always smiling, and very loving. He’s grown so much in these last 8 months, and I just can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Craft!

If you are looking for a creative and fun project to do with the kids, I’ve got a great one for you – make your own holiday ornaments! I went to the craft store this week and picked up a set of six clear glass ornaments… I think they were right around $1 for the pack. Next I went to the $1 store and picked up stickers, finger paints, glitter glue (comes in a pack of three: red, gold, and silver), a package of holiday scented potpourri, and some red ribbon.

I sat down and cut out pictures from our holiday cards (we send out picture ones), and taped them to the inside of the glass ornaments. This was NOT very easy. I had to roll up the photos, and squish them through the tiny round top…then attach tape using a pencil so that the pictures would stick to the side. So you may not want to do that…it requires a lot of time…and patience. Good luck if you do!

Anyway… your kids can decorate the outside of the ornaments with the puffy glitter glue, finger paints, and stickers. Then with your assistance, they can fill ornament with the potpourri (you can also use tinsel...as seen in the picture above). Once you get the top back on the ornament (it just pops on), just simply tie a ribbon around the top of the ornament and there you go! It’s a fun holiday craft that can also be a unique gift!

Tommy and I are having a blast with this, and now I’ll have a little ornament from his first Christmas to cherish! Sorry - not ready to post any pictures of OUR projects yet! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Shopping...A Nice Experience!

I can’t remember ever having a more pleasant experience holiday shopping than I did today. Tommy and I ran to the mall this morning to pick up a couple Lenox ornament charms. I think they are just lovely, and I make sure I buy one every year for our tree. This year I picked up one for Tommy, a little star.

Before arriving at the mall, I also wrote up a Santa letter from Tommy to drop in the mailbox at Macy’s. This year Macy’s has set up Santa Mailboxes for the little ones to drop off their letters to Santa. For every letter they receive in the mailboxes, they will be donating $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (For more info here’s the website: http://www.macysbelieve.com/)

Anyway, at the mall Santa waived at Tommy from his comfy chair while we rode down the escalator, and we were able to catch a few minutes of someone doing a reading of Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas. There were a ton of parents with their kids, and many many strollers littering the hall. It was a cheery site, and the storyteller had a great reading voice. Tommy’s attention span is not quite long enough to sit and listen to a story (that is…without him being able to see the pages), so we only stood to the side for a few moments before moving on. Every where we went people were greeting us with “Merry Christmas,” and the people at Macy’s were lovely. A couple ladies even made comments as to how cute Tommy looked when I helped him put his letter to Santa in the mailbox.

Then we left and went to Dunkin Donuts where those friendly folks greeted us with smiles, and someone slipped a couple munchkins in a bag for Tommy (which I thought was just so sweet!). And as usual, Tommy flirted with the ladies who work there.

Lastly, on our way home from DD, we were stopped at a Police check point. The cop had me stop so that he could let someone coming the opposite direction turn, so we exchanged a “Merry Christmas.” I arrived home filled with the holiday spirit. It was such a nice outing today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Birthday Wishes

Wanted to send out a great big "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to my Mom, from me, Tony, Tommy and Maverick.
We love you and wish you a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Picture

Here is Tommy's "official" first picture with Santa Claus. (I was finally able to scan it into the computer). He is too funny...looks like a little beefcake in this photo.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Oatmeal Cookies

I am attending a cookie swap (So Excited!!) this upcoming weekend, so I thought I would share the recipe for the oatmeal cookies I will be making, with you. I am making quite a few batches on Saturday morning, so I'll be sure to have Tony take a picture of me with the cookies all over our kitchen.
Bobbi’s Semi-Homemade Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 Package Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Butter
1 Tbsp of Water
1 Egg
1 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
½ Bag of Milk Chocolate or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Follow directions according to package (Step 1). Next - Add the nutmeg and brown sugar to cookie mixture, and mix well. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Continue following directions for Steps 2 and 3 according to package.
**Note: You can also add a cup of dried cranberries or walnuts for that extra bit of holiday cheer!

And here is a picture or two of Tommy eating a sugar cookie from the batch I made over the weekend (he didn't really eat it, more like squish it in his fingers and ALL OVER his highchair... but he sure knew what to do with it when we gave it to him!) You can see how red his mouth and fingers got from the red sugar crystals.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I love the holidays

Yesterday afternoon/night we had friends over for our annual holiday dinner party. Unfortunetly, with all the catching up, cooking, and attending to the munchkin, I forgot to take pictures. We had a wonderful time seeing everyone. The food was excellent, especially Julie's homemade Mac n Cheese, Jaqi's vegan cupcakes, and Jenny's appetizer cheese dip. Tony as always, made a deliciously juicy turkey, and I made the mashed potatoes & stuffing. Lots and lots of yummy food! I was particularly proud of the tablescape I put together. I took these shots earlier in the day after I set the table. It turned out exactly as I had hoped, and was all festive. I love that carnations come in so many colors. I feel like they are always a nice way to add some fresh flowers to the table, without spending a lot of money. I love the way they smell too.
Last night after everyone left we relaxed with Tommy and watched a little tv. I just took a couple pictures of Tony and Tommy. I fell in love with this first one, so I thought I'd share it with you... oh and the two others made me laugh. Tommy is such a little camera ham.