Thursday, June 27, 2013

I was told there would be cookies?

The NY Times printed an article a few years ago about the infamous Pittsburgh cookie table tradition that has recently been recirculated around Facebook.  I read the article, appropriately titled "The Wedding?  I'm here for the cookies", again this morning, and it still made me smile.  The article can be found here, if you're interested in learning a bit more about the history behind the tradition:

I've been to weddings where they have so many cookies everyone goes home with at least a box, if not more (and that's AFTER eating them all night long at the reception!).  I've been to weddings where it's a modest spread, but they are there nonetheless. Our wedding was somewhere in between....we didn't have an entire room devoted to cookies (I've seen that!), but there was no shortage either (one of the only oops moments of our wedding was that I forgot to remind the staff to put out the take out containers at the reception....I didn't remember until the next day, but I have no doubt in my mind that people managed to get those cookies out one way or another, so I'm sure it didn't matter!)  The bottom line is, it doesn't really matter what the cookies are or how many, as long as there are enough for everyone and they're there!!

 I remember going to a wedding with Brian in his hometown (not Pittsburgh) before we got married, and when we got to the reception site, I was looking all around the room....he finally asked me what was wrong & I said "I don't see the cookie table, do you think they have it in its' own room?  Or maybe they will just bring them out later, after dinner?"  You can imagine my disappointment when I learned the truth about what goes on at weddings in other cities.

There was another case where the cookie table saved the day....I won't go into details, but let's just say that there was pretty much no dinner for me to be able to eat at one reception.  Some people might have been upset about this....but me?  Nope, not me.  Not when our table was located just a few feet away from the cookie table; the 5 year old in me welcomed the opportunity to consume a large number of cookies and call it dinner.
snapshot of part of the table at our own wedding
 So...which side of the table are you on? Cookies at weddings, or no cookies??

Monday, June 24, 2013

Martini Family Lamb Roast

Summer always feels like it's officially here when the Martini family hosts their annual lamb roast party!  It also felt like it was officially here because it was close to the temperature of a sauna, but whatever.  There was a pool out for the kiddos, so of course they had a blast!!

Ben & Jake, cutest little BFF's around!!

I just realized that I didn't get any still shots of Liam in the pool...mainly because he was perfectly content to just hang out in one corner (away from the jumping kids at the other end) and entertain himself with a bucket.  But, at one point, he did decide he wanted to be like the big kids and try his best to run and jump in.  Here is the hilarious and oh-so-sweet result of that:

Go Liam, go!! :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Daddy Day

Happy belated Father's Day!  We started the day out with some gifts for Brian, his absolute favorite one being his gift from Gracie (HA!):

Yes, the shirt says "Real men love lhasa apsos".  Yes, it is totally awesome.  No, he  will probably never wear it in public.

He also received a Pirates tshirt, a grilling apron, and a Pitt phone case.  And of course, the kids made him awesome gifts at school:

We then spent a nice, relaxing day at my parents house:

And Brian was lucky enough to get to use his new grilling apron!! :)

I hope everyone had a great day!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Turn it around!

We met our goal of leaving Liam rear-facing in the carseat until he was 2 (actually, we made it about a month past that, mainly because we were too lazy to go out and switch it, but whatever)....Liam now has a whole new view of the world!!

I get a lot of funny looks when people would see that he was still facing backwards, and while I won't go into details here, I will say that we decided to stick to our 2 year rule (as we did with Jake) based on our own research and what we felt comfortable doing.  If you have concerns about rear-facing that long (like whether or not his legs would be injured in a crash, if he's comfortable, etc...), there are many you tube videos out there that answer those questions, and show the difference in crash tests of rear-facing vs. forward-facing.

From our own personal experience, I can say that neither of the boys were uncomfortable or complained about the carseat being backwards.  They both have long legs (Liam especially), but he would just bend his knees and let his legs fall to the sides once his legs got too long to stretch out all of the way.  Sometimes he'd even sling one leg over the side of the carseat, in super-relaxed mode!! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Farewell to a fun season!

We've finished up another season of baseball, and these kids really came a long way!  It was a fun season (though I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to have my Saturday mornings back!)
Note the 2 year old who snuck in the picture, he totally thinks he's on the team.

Trophy Time!
The boys with Coach Daddy :)

You did a great job this year, Jake!  We're proud of you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Faves

We are a little over a week away from the official start to summer, and while the weather hasn't always felt that summery, I'm not complaining and I'm in a summer state of mind.  In no particular order, here are some things I'm enjoying or looking forward to this summer:

  • S'mores!  We have not done s'mores in the backyard yet, and that needs to change soon.  Last year, it was so much fun to unwind at the end of a long summer day with a fire, our neighbors, and some s'mores supplies.  The kids don't really like s'mores, they care more about the marshmallows, so that means more for mama!
  • Pool: No, not a community pool or a fancy pool in our own backyard, but this blow up pool that was an amazing $20 investment 2 years ago. 
    The kids stay in there forever, and Brian sets up a nice spot for me with an umbrella and a chair.  Bring me my magazines and Gracie by my side, and I'm all set to supervise and relax at the same time.  (and on super hot days, Brian and I even get in....we've also been known to go down the slip & slide with the kids, too, which Jake thinks is the funniest thing in the world!)
  • Fun music: there's always at least one song of summer, right?   There may never be anything that can top Will Smith's "Summertime", but there's always a fun new song that I find myself turning up in the car, and singing and dancing along to (even if someone is in the backseat, begging me to stop dancing at stop lights)  We still have a lot of summer to go, but so far I am LOVING the new Robin Thicke song, "Blurred Lines".  (I will say that I actually paid attention to the lyrics yesterday when it came on the radio and some of them are probably borderline offensive, but has a catchy beat so I'm just going to pretend like I don't hear those few lines)
  • Beach pants: ok, these aren't actually called beach pants, nor are we going to the beach this year, but the fun coral and mint colored pants that are trendy right now remind me of the beach.  I'm leaning toward a pair in mint, cute for work with a white top and flat sandals, yes?
  • Trashy, Fabulous Summer TV: Summertime tends to bring out the "best" in TV; if, of course, your definition of "best" is absurd, mindless, and meaningless shows.  Which is the ultimate recipe for a TV show for me, so bring it on!!  I am sad to report that we lost a good one this year....farewell, Bachelor will be greatly missed!!  This is nearly as devastating to me as the loss of Paradise Hotel years ago. Don't worry, we've still got the old standbys of So You Think You Can Dance (this one actually IS quality TV and not trashy, but it's summer programming so we're including it on this list anyway), Big Brother, and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Bravo hasn't let me down, they're starting up a new show in July called Below Deck, about people who work on a yacht.  My DVR is giddy with anticipation.
  • Fun new nailpolish: I usually treat myself to one new fun nail polish each summer, and my selection this year was Essie's Tart Deco: 
    On a related note, I am also obsessed with their Naughty Nautical, so I may have to splurge and get TWO new polishes this season!

    There's my list!  What are you looking forward to this summer??  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Has anyone seen my children?

I can't find them anywhere.

Color Me Rad!!

It took a lot of effort to get that green paint out of my hair.

I posted back in April about how I started running and was trying to get in shape to run a 5K. This is a quote from that original post, where I talk about my goal for the 5K:

 I signed up for a 5K on June 9th; I don't have full confidence that I will be able to run the entire thing by then at all, but even if I can do some, I'll consider it a win.   

I'm proud to report that I should have had more confidence in myself; I ran that whole thing!! :)  I had been able to run the 3.1 miles at my house twice prior to the 5K, so I knew I was capable of doing it, but of course, I was nervous that I would choke and not be able to do it that day.  Big shout-out to my running partner that day, Lisa, as we both kept with each other's pace and completed the whole thing without stopping.  If I hadn't had her, I might have been tempted to walk for a bit of it (especially during the part we had to run on gravel, which made me very nervous!  It would totally be my luck that I'd finally start doing something physical, then break my ankle for the summer)

crossing the finish line
we survived!!
me & Lisa

Aside from the sense of accomplishment I felt, the best thing about doing this race was crossing the finish line and seeing Brian, the boys, and my mom there, cheering me on (with a homemade sign and everything!)  They are the whole reason I started running in the first place, so I loved having them there. 

love these boys.
Jake shows his enthusiasm for the race.
my mom, me, Liam, Brian, Jake

 In case you can't see it in the pics, the sign says "Mommy is RAD, Go Dodging, We're Proud of You".  When I first started going out to run, Jake would call it "dodging" instead of jogging....cutest thing ever, so we have stuck to calling it that :)

I plan to keep up with my "dodging", and maybe...just maybe, sign up for another 5K at the end of summer :) 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Liam's 2 Year Check Up/ENT visit

 We were a little late with it, but we had Liam's 2 year check up last week. This kid LOVES going to the doctor. (and for once, there is no sarcasm behind that statement, he really does love it!)  He gets so excited when I tell him we're going there, he's super cooperative, and the rest of the day he walks around showing everyone the sticker he gets at the end of each visit saying, "Liam-so bwave!" :)  (it helped that there were no shots this time around, too!) 

Here are the stats:

Weight: 29 lbs, 6 oz (66th percentile)
Height: 35 inches (64th percentile)
Head circumference: 50 cm (81st percentile!)

To compare, here are Jake's stats from his 2 year visit:

Weight: 27 lbs (30th percentile)
Height: 33 inches (20th percentile)

So, definitely a bit of a difference between them!!  When I was looking back at my previous posts to find Jake's stats, they were listed in his 2 year check up post, which had a pretty funny story I had completely forgotten about, I'll C&P it here:

 Last night, we had Jake's 2 year check up...for some reason, our kid is absolutely terrified of the scale and threw a fit when the nurse tried to put him on it. That was strike one against her. Strike 2 was when she came in the room to give him a shot (the 2nd half of his H1N1 vaccine); he didn't cry or even flinch, but he must have been annoyed by it because after she was done, he stood up, looked right at her, pointed to the door and said "Go."

Other than that, everything went well and everything looked good and right on track. The weight was a big guesstimate, as he was fully clothed with his coat on and had to get an unscientific measurement of Brian getting on the scale with him, then weighing just Brian and figuring out the difference.

ahhh....toddler times, fun fun!!  Jake at age 2:

Liam at age 2:

Definitely a strong resemblance.  The rest of the 2 year check up went well; he's obviously thriving in the weight and height department, so the dr. said we could cut back to skim milk if we wanted to do so.  He was still on whole milk; Jake & I drink organic skim, and Brian is forced to drink regular skim (because he drinks so much milk every week he has to drink the regular stuff instead of the organic...that stuff is pricy!)  So, at any given time, there were at least 3 different containers of milk in my fridge....I will happily start giving Liam skim, allowing me to cut back to just 2 different types.

He also had an ENT appointment last week (fun medical week for the kid); it was his 1 year follow up appointment, and came at a good time because he had an infection about a month ago that was terrible (we ended up having to use both drops and oral antibiotics to finally get rid of it after over a week had passed).  When we went to get that infection checked out by our pediatrician, she couldn't find the tube in his right ear, but wasn't 100% sure if it really wasn't there, or if she infection was so bad that it was causing her to not be able to see it.  Turns out, it was the former, the tube is totally gone from the right ear (left ear looks good)   So, after talking about it for awhile, the ENT decided to take a wait and see approach, and not immediately replace that tube.  She's hopeful that going into summer, he will be less likely to get infections, and we can at least make it to fall before having to do anything. Assuming he gets no other infections, we will go back in November for another follow up.

While I'm relieved of course that he doesn't have to undergo anesthesia or anything, part of me was kind of all UGH.  Because I feel like we are right back to the point of being paranoid with every runny nose and was nice with the tubes because the guess work was gone.  If his ear drained, it was an infection, no doubts about it (he had 3 infections even with the tubes, but we knew immediately each time due to the drainage).  But without that indicator, it's hard to tell. So, we're remaining hopeful that we can get through summer with no illnesses and maybe he'll even outgrow this problem by the time the next cold  and flu season rolls around.

So there you have it, our medical updates for the time being!!  Hopefully we will not be back to the doctor for another 6 months. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Goodbye, preschool....hello, Kindergarten!!

While he will remain at the same center until kindergarten starts up in August, Jake officially graduated from their preschool program last week :)

Both myself and Jake were complete balls of nerves going into the big day; I was nervous that I would have an emotional breakdown in front of everyone, and Jake was nervous that he would forget what to do up on stage and he was scared to be up in front of so many people (his exact words, poor thing!)  But he did a great job!! He definitely was nervous, he had his hands up by his mouth as he was coming down the aisle (always a dead giveaway for him), but he seemed to relax a bit up on stage.

The ceremony was cute, they said the pledge of allegiance and sang a few songs. Here is a video of one of the songs:

 They have a teacher at the school who speaks polish, german, and russian, so the kids have been learning all 3 languages in preschool. They counted to 10 in all 3 languages, then sang the same song in all 3 languages as well!  It was very impressive.

They did a superlative for each child when they were called up to get their diplomas; Jake got most outgoing!!  He's come along way; this is the same kid that wouldn't talk in class or interact with any other kids just 2 years proud of his progress!!


They had each of the children bring a rose to their parents, as a thank you for the support in was very sweet!  Video:

 I made it nearly the entire way through the ceremony without tears (a miracle!); then, it happened.  The floodgates.  What sparked this change, you ask?  Sarah McLachlan.  It's all fun and games until someone shows a photo slideshow of tiny humans set to "I Will Remember You"

Speaking of tiny humans, there are so many at this school that we are going to miss next year.  We are very lucky to have become close with quite a few parents after so many years of the kids being friends.

After the ceremony, there was more picture taking (of course!), as well as cookie and juice consumption.
PopPop, Nana, Jake
Pappy, Liam, Jake, GG
"Please let us be done with the picture taking already!!"

And finally, some shots of the graduation packet that he received:

Happy graduation, Jake...we are so proud of you!  You're going to move mountains, kid!! :)
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