Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat"

While visiting my parents over the weekend, my mom was playing "Row Row Row Your Boat" with Jake (one of his favorite games) by singing and rowing while holding hands. Jake insisted on doing this for a long time (and would sign "more" if my mom tried to stop and grab her hands again) and at one point, we realized that he was singing along with her very softly...so we all got quiet to listen and sure enough, he was singing "row, row, row"! (ok, so it sounded more like "whow, whow, whow" but still!) Super cute and a proud mommy moment.

His words now include: ball (bah), mama, dada, dog (doh), bye bye, row (whow) and whoa. He uses the word "whoa" a lot and always in the right context (like if he pushes his car & it goes really far, his eyes get wide and he says "whooooa!!") I'm pretty sure he's saying "nana" for banana, but it's not all the time yet. He does know exactly what a banana is and will run to them an point if you even say the word!

We had a nice weekend visiting the fam....my mom turned the Big 5-0 last week, so we celebrated her birthday with dinner and cake. Happy Birthday Mom! :) (If you see my mom, tell her she looks more like my sister than my mom, it'll make her day!)

We had great weather on Saturday, so we were able to play outside for a bit...Jake enjoyed roaming the yard & getting to use the swing that's at GG & Pappy's house.

Gracie got a haircut...she was looong overdue and was quite the shagmuffin. Here she is, Extreme Makeover: Gracie Edition.

We were also able to visit our friends Jenn and Tim, who live in Washpa now as well. Jake spent the majority of the time terrorizing Jenn's dog, Noah.

While the weekend was fun, this upcoming weekend we have a lot on our to-do list trying to get started spring cleaning!!

Pizza Party!

We decided that a new tradition in our house would be that we would have a "pizza party" every Friday night for dinner. I'm not sure how much of a party atmosphere actually exists, but hey...we eat pizza and that's exciting enough for me! We were inspired for this idea by my friends Whitney and Neal, who received a breadmaker for their wedding and make their own pizza all the time. After having some super yummy pizza at their house one night, we decided to make our own pizza as well. (just not the dough, we're cheating in that department with store-bought, pre-made crust). We've used regular premade crust and wheat and surprisingly, we prefer the wheat (Boboli brand)

This is our favorite recipe so far:

Buffalo Chicken Style Pizza

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 cup ranch dressing
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 oz Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 cup shredded mozz cheese
1 16 inch pizza crust

-Preheat oven to 425
-In a medium bowl, combine the cooked chicken, melted butter and hot sauce; mix well.
-Spread ranch dressing over pizza crust, then top with chicken and shredded cheese.
-Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly (about 5-10 minutes)

*A funny note about this recipe, it was the first time Jake has had Frank's Red Hot (we need to get him ready for the upcoming Buffalo Chicken Dip season!) and the kid couldn't get enough! He shoveled it into his mouth so fast, even though you could tell it was hot for him, he was drooling everywhere (more than usual) but loved it!

This week's recipe: Margherita Pizza-YUM!

Monday, March 30, 2009

OMG, it's Mike Clark!!!

If you're not from Pittsburgh (and maybe if you are) you're probably sitting there saying "who??" Mike Clark is a news anchor for one of the local radio stations and is a bit of a celebrity around here...how does a news anchor become a celebrity, you ask? Because of people like my mom :) My mom loves WTAE (aka-Channel 4 Action News Team) and often speaks about them in every day conversation as if they were real life friends. An example:

Mom: So Kelly was talking this morning about her dogs and they did the funniest thing....
Me: (running through my mom's list of friends & not coming up with a Kelly) wait, mom...who is Kelly?
Mom: um...you know. Kelly Frey....on Channel 4.

Silly me.

Back to the story...Jake's school had a "Spring Fling" event tonight that showcased their artwork from the past few weeks, had a bake sale, etc...and promised a Book Reading by a local celebrity. We were hoping for maybe a Steeler, but I must say, I was pretty excited to see Mike Clark since I knew my mom was such a fan. Much to Brian's dismay, I marched up to him after the book reading, introduced myself and asked if he would mind posing for a picture with Jake. I'm happy to report that he was more than happy to do this, had Jake slap him high five then asked if he could hold him....he wasn't even fazed when I told him Jake might rub snot and drool all over his nice suit :)

I thrust my kid into the arms of a stranger, look of terror on his face, while I dug around for my camera. It's not the best picture, but I was bound & determined to get the shot:

"MOOOOOOOOOM!! I don't care who this man is & how much G.G. loves him, get me away from him!!"

Overall, a successful night. I managed to get the picture to show my mom & get Brian out of there before he started quoting parts of the "Anchorman" movie. I could tell he was just dying to start saying things like, "I look good...I mean realllllly good." I am proud that he managed to control himself, very impressive.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Required Reading-and a tag for bloggers :)

I'm a big reader...always have been and probably always will be. Aside from little kids books (Dr. Seuss, etc...) the first books I remember getting really into were The Babysitters Club series....and I mean waaaaay into them. I have memories of going to the mall with my grandparents and being allowed to pick out anything that I wanted...could have been clothes, a toy, a new cassette tape of New Kids on the Block, whatever...but if there was a new BSC book on the shelves, it was coming home with me that day. (for the record, Stacy was my favorite) Also, if you're ever super bored & want to borrow any of my BSC stuff (board game, videos, movie, etc...) you just let me know :)

Does anyone remember the Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary? I was also a huge Judy Blume fan (and later went on to read some of her adult books as well).

Soon enough, I moved into Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High (who didn't want to be the Wakefield twins??)

Then came high school...and the required reading lists of books. Sure, we had to read some stuff in middle school, but I don't remember it being quite as much as high school. There were times that I resented having to read some of the stuff....like I said, I liked to read, so the required reading sometimes interfered with my personal reading choices! But in hindsight, I am happy and grateful to have read so many books in school. There were some that I didn't care for (The Good Earth) and others that I have read over again as an adult and still love (To Kill a Mockingbird).

I've heard a lot of people say that you don't get anything out of high school english class, it was a waste of time, they learned nothing, etc....but I disagree. If anything, I think it helped to continue my love affair with books and introduced me to some that I would have never picked up on my own, but ended up loving after having to read them for class.

All of that being said, fellow bloggers should consider yourself tagged...I want to see a post with your favorite books of the past! Childhood, tweens, required reading....whatever you want to include.

I listed some of my favorites above already, but other faves include (in approximate chronological order and I'm stopping at the end of HS):

-Sideway Stories from Wayside School

-Harriet The Spy

-Nancy Drew series

-Trixie Belden series

-The Secret Garden

-The Pigman

-Flowers for Algernon

-The Diary of Anne Frank

-Romeo and Juliet (if anyone from my HS is reading this, do you remember having to act this out in Mr. Perry's 9th grade english class???)

-Their Eyes Were Watching God

-Wuthering Heights

-Catcher in the Rye

-To Kill a Mockingbird

-Oedipus Rex

That's all I can think of off the top of my head and I'm sure I'm forgetting some good ones...so be sure to include them in your list :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

But I don't wanna leave the playground!!

After returning from our road trip on Sunday, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather (and extended daylight hours) and walk down to the playground in our development. It's really the first time Jake has been able to play on the stuff and enjoy it....

After running around for awhile, swinging, sliding and giggling, it was time to go home...it was getting late, we had been on the road all day and dinner and bathtime were drawing near. Try telling this to the 14 month old who was having so much fun, he threw a fit when we put him back in the stroller to go home.

On The Road Again...

This past weekend, we hit the road again to visit Nana, PopPop and Aunt Amy. We changed it up a bit this time and decided to leave at bedtime, rather than first thing in the morning. Overall, it wasn't too bad....we made great time since there weren't as many cars on the dreaded turnpike and Jake slept pretty much the entire way out. He did perk up when we got to their house and insisted on playing for about an hour before going to bed :) but that was ok, it gave us some time to get settled in and unwind from the car trip. I'm almost scared to brag about this next thing for fear of jinxing our next visit, but I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway. Normally, Jake's sleep is AWFUL when we travel. He doesn't want to go to bed, he doesn't want to stay in the pack & play, he wakes up through the night, etc....and I can't say that I blame him, it's a new place, he's probably scared and nervous. Well, this past weekend was glorious....he not only slept, but he slept in everyday!! It was fabulous for all of us & I was very proud of him.

Back to the weekend...I think one of the highlights for Jake was all of the "hugging" he got to do with Sandy :) He's not really around big dogs much & he was just infatuated with her.

Here are some other pics from the weekend, we had a fun time and we look forward to the next visit!

And look at this smooshy little schmuffin loving face...don't you just want to eat her up??

Monday, March 23, 2009

St. Patricks Day: Then & Now

It's a wee bit late, but Happy St. Patrick's Day! ("wee" bit, get it? St. Patty's Day?) Anyway-just for fun, I figured I'd show off Jake celebrating the holiday last year and this year.

He looks less than thrilled here, but his shirt says "Mommy's Lil Pot of Gold":

And here are some vintage shots of Gracie, circa 2006:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Window Watching

As I was uploading pictures from last week, I realized that I have quite a few of Jake (and Gracie!) looking out the window, anxiously awaiting the return of daddy at the end of the day.

8.5 months old (check out that baby chub!)

9.5 months old (don't they look like they're on security patrol?)

11 months old (we ended up using this one for his birthday invitation)

And most recently, 13.5 months old

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tummy Kiss Giggles

Here is Jake showing off his adorable laugh after getting his bath :) If you watch until the very end (it's only a minute long) he says bye bye to the camera.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Visit to the BFF's.

My BFF and Jake's BFF that is! We went to visit the Martini Family in Virginia over the weekend & were very lucky to have gorgeous weather the whole time. We were able to take the boys on two walks and one trip to the park.

As you can see from this picture, Jake is still a binky thief (please note the look of sheer terror on poor Ben's face as he realizes what is about to happen)

It was also Dennis's birthday weekend, so Melissa & I walked to the local grocery store to get a cookie cake for later that night...after some uh, miscommunication at the bakery, this is what the cake ended up looking like:

But it tasted good, so that's all that matters...and we got a good laugh out of it. It was a great weekend, but always hard to return to Pittsburgh without Melissa, Dennis and Ben being with us. :(

Monday, March 2, 2009

What's New This Week

Jake is changing so fast, I'm having trouble keeping track of it all...I feel like I want to record every little thing along the way so that I don't forget about it, but I know that's probably not possible. So, I'm doing my best to put it on here whenever I think of them. New things this week:

*He says dog, which sounds like "doh" but we know what he means.

*He likes to climb onto and into EVERYTHING (ok, so he didn't actually crawl into the hamper himself, but it's a cute pic)

*He's started signing "more" for other things aside from food, mainly his books when we reach the end & he wants to hear it again. (we gave him some Motrin for his teeth last night & he signed "more" right after...I guess he liked the cherry flavor!)

*He's been practicing his "baby model lady killer" look lately. I think it's near perfection:

*His new favorite food is lasagna...he ate the same size piece as Brian the other night (and if you've ever seen Brian eat, his portions are not small!) then he was still eying up our plates.

*He knows what a truck is and will bring you one (or two, or three, or four) if you ask him.

*He can feed himself with a spoon if you fill it up and hand it to him, he almost always gets it in his mouth...he tries really hard to scoop up another bite out of the bowl, but doesn't quite have the scooping motion down yet.

*He can climb up our flight of stairs very quickly, he's like a little lightning bolt....and he's very proud of himself when he gets to the top.

*He's still my little mama's boy :)

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