Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

I can't believe it's been TWO YEARS since our wedding! In that time, we've managed to buy a house, stuff it with some grown up furniture and have a baby.

Our actual anniversary fell on a Tuesday and we all know that I'm useless on school nights, so we just relaxed at home for the night. We started out the evening with a romantic chili meal, then watched our wedding video while drinking our bottles of Asti Spumante that were the favors at our wedding. (ok, by "bottles" I mean that I drank one bottle and felt a headache coming on, so I cut myself off...hey, it's been over a year since I've had a sip of alcohol!)

Our official anniversary celebration took place on Saturday...my parents came up to babysit Jake & Brian and I had our first real grown up date night out since he was born! It was a big night for us...surprisingly, I didn't cry, though it was weird to leave him. It was nice to get out of the house for a bit and wear clothes weren't covered in some combination of spit up, slobber or snot.

We went to Monterey Bay (which is located on Mt Washington-a great view of the city!) While I'm not a seafood fan at all (and I did make the comment "it smells like fish in here" when we walked in) the steak was delicious and even more important, the dessert (Apple Streusel Cheesecake) was to die for.

Take a stroll down memory lane with some of our wedding pictures (done by Lisa Kyle, if anyone is looking for an awesome wedding photographer!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Being a baby is hard work.

So hard in fact, that sometimes you need a nap after finishing a really good meal.

And after a hard day of playing, there's nothing like snuggling up on the couch with your favorite puppy (and Mr. Woofy) to get in a good afternoon nap.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Me & My Mama :)

I don't get too many pictures of just Jake & I, but here a few from this week that I wanted to share.

Babyproofing, here we come??

We may be close to having to break down and baby proof the house. My reason for thinking this? Please see Exhibit A:

Jake can get to this position and just kind of pelvis-thrust the floor. He doesn't get anywhere, which seems to frustrate him. He then drops to his belly & slithers backwards (again: frustration) We will keep you posted as progress is made....

Baby Love

After counting down the days all week, we were finally able to depart on Saturday for Virgina to meet Baby Ben!!! Is it possible to fall in love at first sight? Yes, I believe it is, especially when it comes to babies. It happened with Jake & the same thing happened with Ben. He is perfect and I could have just held him all day long (unfortunately, I had to fight Brian for him a few times and eventually give in & take turns)

We decided that we HAD to get pictures of the new BFF's, so we put both Jake & Ben down on a blanket on the floor. First, we left them a few feet apart:

After a few shots, we wanted to get brave & move them in close together for a cuddle session...this seemed like a good idea, until we realized that Jake is known for trying to eat everything in sight (including baby heads, apparantly)

Best wishes to the new mom & dad....Ben will be making his first trip to the 'burgh in late October, so the countdown is on until then!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gracie + Jake = BFF

Whether it's waiting for daddy to come home after work....

Or fighting over toys....

Or providing hours of endless entertainment to each other:
These two are proving that dog truly is a baby's best friend!! :)

Welcome to the world, Benjamin Anthony!!

My BFF Melissa and her husband Dennis welcomed their new baby boy into the world this past weekend!!

Benjamin Anthony
Saturday, September 13th, 4:57am
5 lbs, 10 oz
19.5 inches long

Ben was born healthy and with a head full of dark hair! The new family is doing well and we will be making a trip down to VA this weekend to see them & meet my nephew (and Jake's new BFF) More pictures to follow after the trip, I promise! :)

Welcome to the world, Micah Wayne!!

My friend Jen and her husband Scott welcomed their first baby boy last week!! Both mom, dad and baby are doing well & we can't wait to meet Micah!! (now if only we could get them to relocate from Maine, back to Pittsburgh!)

Micah Wayne
Wednesday, September 10th, 10:17am
8 lbs, 7 oz
20.5 inches long

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jake's 1st Tailgate

I love fall for many reasons and in the past few years, I've even grown to appreciate football (thanks to my BFF's husband's mild Steelers obsession) & have added that onto my list of reasons I love fall. Yesterday was the Steeler's home opener, so we pulled out our Steelers gear & headed down to Dennis's tailgate!

Jake seemed a bit overwhelmed by everything at first (I don't blame him, sometimes I get overwhelmed when I'm surrounded by yinzers too---speaking of which, we actually saw someone with "Yinzer" tatooed on the back of his neck. Classic.) but eventually he was content to hang out in the back of the car & check everything out.

When leaving the tailgate to head home in time for kickoff, we saw this gem walking down the streets of the North Side:

Yep, those are 3 teenagers using their bare bodies as jerseys. Strut your stuff boys, strut your stuff.

When we got home, Jake wanted to watch the game while looking like someone on the team. His hair isn't long enough to style like Polamalu's and we didn't want to shave it bald like Ward's, so we settled for Jeff Reed (aka Skippy Skeeve):

And what's a football game without some beer, right?

***Please note-no babies were harmed during this photo shoot. Nor did any babies actually consume beer. Please do not report us to CYS. We have no idea why he looked so infactuated with the beer bottle....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cooking with Emmy

Wait, don't run away! I'm not burning anything, I promise!

I've discovered my new favorite style of cooking...pureeing. Yep, I've started venturing into making my own baby food! (I must say, it is MUCH easier than cooking regular food!) Before I get into how easy this is, let me tell you a few of my past cooking mishaps:

-a recipe called for "refrigerated linguine"; naturally, I went to the grocery store, bought a box of linguine and stuck it in the fridge. My mom was over one day and we were trying to figure out what to make for dinner; I enthusiastically suggested this recipe and produce the box of linguine directly out of my refrigerator. Needless to say, my mom got a good laugh out of that one.

-While attemping to be all "Suzy Homemaker" during my maternity leave, I decide to make cupcakes just for fun. My cupcake pan only holds 12 cupcakes, but the box makes 24, so I just filled the little cupcake tins up as far as they would go and the leftover batter went into a small square cake pan. I was really proud of my quick thinking, until I pulled the product out of the oven, only to discover that they looked like cupcakes on steroids and had taken over the entire pan. Determined to make the most of it, I decided to go ahead and ice them (and my small cake) anyway, only no one ever told me that you should let stuff cool off before attempting to ice. My cake looked like someone let a rabid dog get a hold of it. :(

-And last, but not least, Brian & I had our friend Olivia over for dinner one night....while chatting away with her, I was putting some frozen twice-baked potatoes into the oven (you know, the kind that come pre-stuffed in a box, you just plop them onto a baking sheet?) when Brian interrupts our discussion to inform me that I was putting the potatoes on the sheet upside down. I was adamant that I was doing it right, for some reason, I thought for sure you put the skin side up! Brian then pointed out that if I did that, the cheese & stuffed part would bake onto the sheet and make a big, burned mess. Oops. (Liv was not surprised by this incident---she had Cooking Class with me in high school...my group always put me in charge of making the Kool-Aid to go along with the meal, I'm not sure why....)

So, back to my latest cooking adventure...you may be thinking to yourself, "If she can't even cook dinner for herself, why is she trying to cook for her baby?" I'll tell you why...baby food is expensive. It may not seem like it when you're looking at the individual cost, but add up what you're spending over time and it's quite a bit! We've been using Earth's Best and the cheapest I've found it is at Walmart (about .48 for the Stage 1 jar--he gets about 2 meals out of that) So instead of doing that, I started buying bags of frozen veggies (for about $1), steaming 1/2 bag, pureeing and freezing and viola, meals for the Jake Man! A 1/2 bag makes about 12-14 meals!! Much more cost-effective.

For any moms looking to venture into this (and clearly if I can do it, anyone can) I have been using www.wholesomebabyfood.com as a resource for many of my questions. So far I have stocked our freezer with peas, carrots, pears and bananas!

Swing baby, yea!

Unfortunately, the trees at our house are not conducive to swinging; the branches are either too small, too high or the tree just isn't in the right place to hang a swing. The good news is, there are plenty of trees at G.G. and Pappy's house to hang one from! I picked up a swing at Toys R Us (Little Tykes) a few weeks ago on end-of-summer clearance and Pappy was nice enough to install it for us. We tested it out this weekend & it was a hit!!

At first, he wasn't sure what to make of it...

But soon, he had a smile plastered across his face as daddy pushed the swing (sometimes a bit too high for mommy's liking!)

Of course, we had to go back out the next morning to get some more use out of the swing before heading back up to Pittsburgh....here is Jake sporting his stylish new hat that Mommy is mildly obsessed with:

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