Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cupcake Craze

Joseph's classmate Will had a birthday party on Saturday at the Children's Playseum and the kids all got to decorate their own cupcake. Joseph got a chocolate one and it never had a chance. I made quick work of a vanilla one myself.



Alejandro was left with a vanilla buttercream goatee,


while Joe Joe sported a full on chocolate beard.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thundersnow!

Oh, if only winter weather could be all about having fun in the snow!


But alas winter storms in our nation's capitol tend to wreak havoc. Last year's "Snowmageddon" gave way to this year's "Thundersnow." It was indeed lovely and amazing to watch the lightening flash and hear the thunder crash while snowflakes gently fell in the early evening, but the mere 6 or so inches that accumulated caused more damage and drama than you can imagine. It was the heaviest, slipperiest, slushiest snow ever. 8 hour commutes home! Abandoned cars left and right! 400,000 without power! And throughout our entire neighborhood, trees down everywhere.

Including our front walk. And the place I always park my car. What kind of forces intervened to have me park further down the block this one time?



Maybe doesn't look like much until you put it in perspective.



Here's the branch that would have knocked out the power lines to our house had it not gotten wedged in the fork of the tree. The far left side of the limb is resting on the actual lines, which could snap at any given moment. Then there'll really be some drama. Hurry Pepco!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Ball

We had another one of our banner snow storms here on the east coast yesterday. No worries, we had the day off today anyway! Instead of driving to Baltimore for the dolphin show at the aquarium, we had a ball in the fresh mounds of snow. We invited Benjamin out for a roll, ate a pound or two, and went for a few spins on the sled.





We can see dolphins any old time. These smiles were worth the weather!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cannonball!


We started a new Sunday swim class with some friends from our old music class. Joseph loves to be in the pool and it's a fun activity to get us up and out of the house on these cold winter mornings. Unfortunately the teacher no-showed last week, so we let the kids do whatever they wanted. Joseph led the group in freestyle jumping. He could do this for hours.





He makes quite a splash!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Granted

This past weekend we met a new friend named Grant who lives just 2 blocks down on our street. Another Alton Boy!


We actually got to meet a ton of new friends that live on our street or just a few blocks away at a brunch hosted by Grant's daddy and his partner who all have 1 thing in common - same sex parents. Eight gay or lesbian families with young kids all within walking distance of each other. We had no idea there was such a community within our community. How could we have never run into any of these people at the park or the grocery store?!


Well, Joseph won't care much about who has 2 mommies and who has 2 daddies. All that's important to him is that Grant has the entire Thomas "Misty Island Rescue" train set that he had asked us to buy him for Christmas which he never got. I think we'll be seeing our new friends often.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One lump or two?


One: Joseph in our bed Thursday morning watching TV with all his puppies. (Don't judge! A guy's gotta take a shower once in a while and this way I know I'll find him exactly where I left him)


Two: One of the new things Joseph and Jack do to entertain themselves while they're waiting for lunch. They think it's hysterical. It was. The 1st time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mille Grazie

A huge thank you goes out to Martina, one of Brent's colleagues at Kaiser, who had us over to her house outside of Baltimore on Sunday for a fantastic Italian feast. Martina grew up outside of Venice and can cook like nobody's business. The food was squisito and the company magnifico. Aside from the many cheeses, olives and breads to sample, there was zucchini and gorgonzola soup, polenta with mushrooms, eggplant parmesan, risotto with radicchio - so mouthwatering you probably haven't noticed it was entirely vegetarian fare. And plenty of vino to go around the tavolo. Mmmmm!

In order to work off some of those calories before dessert we went for a lovely walk in the snow covered woods around her property.


Joseph loved Martina's dog Peanut who came along for the walk. Can you spot her in the lower part of the picture with Joseph? Her white and brown coat blended right into the scenery. We saw many deer and even a little fox running through the woods.



Back inside we warmed our feet in front of a roaring fire and sampled the new cheesecake recipe I tried out from one of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. By far the best cheesecake I have ever made and probably ever tasted.



We were sent home with lots of leftovers and a trunk full of wood that Martina had chopped herself from trees on her property that had fallen or needed to come down. My only regret is that we ran out of time to try out some wood chopping ourselves. Hopefully there'll be a next time!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'll tumble for you

On Thursday we tried out the Jr. Tumblers program at a new My Gym in our area to see how it compared to gymnastics at Kidville. This program was much harder core true gymnastics. They started with a lot of stretching, which was hysterical to see a bunch of 3 year olds doing.



They tried to teach Joe Joe a forward roll (apparently you are not allowed to call it a somersault).



Man, these people would have their work cut out for them. He was "much better" the 2nd time. I'm not so sure about that. But bless him (and them) for trying.



And then a backward roll.



On the up side, they have a ball pit!



Despite looking like torture for a 3 year old who seemingly can't follow directions, Joseph actually had a great time and asked if we could come back after we went home for a snack. Now I need to decide which class to enroll him in......

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gym Dandy

New year. No nap.

It's OK, we've been bracing ourselves for the inevitable for some time now and actually decided to drop the nap on purpose starting Jan 1st. Well, Jan 2nd. Wait, I think it was actually Jan 3rd or 4th when we bit the bullet. But that leaves us with a LOT of time to kill now, so we're exploring some options to fill these cold winter days.

I've always thought Joseph would enjoy (and benefit from) an actual gymnastics class, but the ones I found were always during his nap time. Problem solved. There were 2 options, so yesterday we tried the one at Kidville.



They have a very cool trampoline that I would love to try when no one's looking.



Most of this one is kinda boring but I'm posting it because I was impressed with his form on the parallel bars in the beginning. (In case you're wondering I recorded it from outside in the waiting area which is why all you hear are the Spanish speaking nannies in the background)



They did the trapeze too and taught them how to dismount. The kids called it a discount. Love his little "TA DA!" at the end.



Checked out a different gym today. Very different, actually. Will show you that next...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Curious about George


Just a few days ago a package arrived for Joseph containing an adorable stuffed Curious George. It had absolutely no card or indication of who sent it other than the address of the website MyBabyPooh.com. Aside from being astounded that anyone would think it's a good idea to name their website anything that uses the words "baby poo," we're left to wonder who this lovely, thoughtful, generous person is. Joseph was so excited to receive George, and he promptly took a place in his bed with only the select few lovies he allows. Please take credit and let Joseph know who to thank. Please!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tiger in Training

Not much new to blog about just yet, but I found these videos from when Mimi visited around Halloween when I finally uploaded the Flip camera. So in honor of the Tigers win yesterday, here's our future LSU Tiger in training.







Still needs a little work.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well played


Good to know that despite the gazillion new toys and games acquired this holiday season there's still some interest in the old stuff, like the pirate ship from his 3rd birthday party and the construction gear from his 2nd birthday party.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Time in a Bottle"

Last Christmas my mom requested that I make her a quilt for this Christmas to hang over the couch in her family room. No guidelines whatsoever outside of a general color palette including some browns and reds along with a yellow to coordinate with the walls and furniture. The quilt is made up of the double hourglass block, hence the name. I used an online tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew. Pretty foolproof. And pretty if you ask me.


The back was pieced together from all the leftover fabrics so I wouldn't have to add to my "stash," and the hanging sleeve at the top was made from all these little pieces leftover from constructing the blocks.




Joseph seemed to like it. Hopefully Mom does too. I also made sure to include my favorite "invisible" quilt hanging system. Can't wait to see how it looks in the room!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1.1.11

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM OUR HAPPY FAMILY!







Another GREAT round of family portraits from our photographer, Erica Land. We are always so thrilled with the results and have a hard time narrowing down which is the perfect picture to order, so I just order tons of them! The ones of Joseph are always the toughest, as I want to capture every single expression his sweet little face ever makes, good, bad, goofy, and even grouchy. This year Erica made me a disc and gave me permission to use them on our blog, and I'm so happy to be able to share more of them with you than made this year's holiday card (which she made for us too).

Well, it wouldn't be New Year's without a mention of resolutions, right? I did pretty well with last year's. I read a book 10 out of the past 12 months (no way I was reading in July what with all the self inflicted insanity surrounding Joseph's birthday, and by December I finally just bailed) and tried way more than 1 new recipe a week (sometimes even 3 or 4!).

This year I'm running with the idea of devoting time to things I enjoy but often get pushed to the back burner when time is short. So:
1. I'll aim to complete 12 new sewing projects this year, 1 for each month. Not necessarily quilts, and not necessarily 1 project in each month, but 12 completed projects nonetheless.
2. I will finally print this blog! The software has been downloaded from Blurb.com for months, and I'm eager to push the publish button!
3. I desperately want to start making dvd's out of all the 1 minute "snippet" videos of Joseph's life that have been accumulating over the years.

Hope you've had a happy new year too!