Wednesday, December 31, 2008

~ LAST POST OF '08 ~

Just want to catch up on our last photos from '08, so I wanted to document that we ventured into the city the day after Christmas to the (American) Museum of Natural History. Not sure where we got the energy or how we got the kids to leave all of their presents behind, but we did!

Anthony has been studying rocks & minerals in his 5th grade class. He is such a great student (proud mom talking), but he really is! Whatever his class is learning about at the time, he gets really into it all. I think we all know more than we ever thought we would about rocks & minerals - thanks to Ant :)

The museum had an awesome display and we spent most of our time in this room (it helped that the room had steps covered in carpeting and Eddie & Mia had a ball climbing and crawling around - with daddy close behind) ~ I was able to walk around and read with my big guy about all these "rocks". I loved seeing his excitement and we were on a "mission" to find his birthstone - peridot.

Eddie (with Mia's butt beside him) taking a rest from climbing

Anthony found mommy's birthstone (amethyst) ~
some of these rocks were huge and just beautiful!

"I think it would fit on my finger or maybe a braclet!"

Very poor lighting,
but , this is Ed with Mia & Eddie on top of a piece of jade.
Mia's Chinese name "Yu" means jade :)

Happy he was able to climb up to this rock!

Happy boy, found his peridot!
We did many other exhibits ~ the dinosaurs being another favorite,
not sure what happened to those photos though?! Primates & "ancestors"
was interesting too ~ the boys thought they needed some underwear though :)

The kids are in front of this tree decorated entirely with
origami ornaments! It was just something to see!

*One funny part of our day was eating our lunch. We wanted to eat outside the museum, as the food would have most likely been taster; but we had such trouble finding parking that we decided to eat there. Mia must have been very hungry (I'll give her an excuse) because when she saw me balancing her pizza over her stroller she started having a tantrum...sliding out of her stroller and yelling - everyone was amazed and I guess had never seen a 2 yr old flip out - I was a sight and glared around for hubby and the boys...finally finding them and trying to find a seat together was tough. One of the employees came over and told us she had a place for us to sit.

We followed her out of the cafeteria, down the hall, around the bend ~ at this point I'm looking back at my husband with a smile, thinking "they are either kicking us out of the museum" or "they are finding us a spot out of every one's ear shot". After passing some garbage bins we were escorted into another cafeteria with a few people inside. There was plenty of space and once Mia was out of her stroller she was "performing" and dancing around the room to the delight of others - psycho or what?! She certainly keeps us on our toes!!

Next, I was finally able to get Eddie to pose for a picture with his missing teeth. He lost his first tooth a few days before Christmas (12/22/08) and was highly annoyed! He wouldn't open his mouth to show anyone (except me). It was honestly the strangest thing. . . He was even annoyed after the tooth fairy left him $10 for his first tooth! Two days ago he lost the tooth beside the other one - he was annoyed again - this tooth only collected $1 from the tooth fairy; which was a new thing for him to be annoyed about!!

Oh, he's lucky he's cute and charming when he wants to be. Sometimes I feel like I am living in a nut house!

Anyhow, Happy New Year to all my friends, relatives, neighbors, etc. I hope 2009 blesses us with continued health & happiness. It will be a very exciting year in our neighborhood, as two more cuties will be coming home to their forever families: Miss Paige and Mr. "Wen" !

Good-bye 2008 and Welcome 2009!
Be safe and have a wonderful night!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Christmas Day:

"To Believe in making wishes and having faith they can come true.

To Believe that you can find some joy

in everything you do.

To Believe in giving gladly for no reason

just because,

To Believe in love . . .

That's what it means

To Believe in SANTA CLAUS" !

~ author unknown

We were awaken early, like all parents on Christmas day. I wait all year long just to see the looks on the kids faces, like all parents on this day. I am in awe that this is Mia's second Christmas home with her family. Last year she was such a teeny tiny baby girl ~ everything was so new to her as well as confusing. She was still adjusting to being home for about 3 months! This year she has blossomed and really enjoyed this day with her brothers!

Happy, smily kiddos!

~ Merry Christmas ~

At the end of our night, we decided to make some popcorn in mommy's new popcorn maker ~ I had been asking for an airpopper since my microwave refuses to make it for us! Daddy found this super- duper retro "popper". It is really nice, a bit hard to clean (very) and quiet big! It made some good popcorn, but the clean-up was. . . annoying (had to remove the kettle and crank. You cannot submerge it in water since it has the sockets on the bottom, so I had to carefully clean that out. Then, I had to get a damp sponge and wipe down the sides and bottom of the inside - whew!!). Can you imagine my answer to the kids when they wanted popcorn the following night???!

Thanks honey, I LOVE my gift :)

BTW, you do not hear me complaining about this gift!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Christmas Eve:
I started out cooking and preparing everything I could in advance for our big meal this night. I tried a new recipe for a cake called Coconut Blizzard, it is a yellow cake, raspberry filling and coconut topping; and it was very tasty ~ you can get the recipe here.

My cake was as pretty as it was good!
While I was home chopping for my anitpasta, we had some visitors (or should I say Mia did!). First to stop by were Meaghan Grace and her mommy. The girls looked precious in their Santa-ish outfits and of course I grabbed my camera:

"I love seeing you Meg!"

Next, Auntie Lisa stopped by with some goodies. She received a special hug from Mia. There was a time Mia would shy away from hugs or closeness from others. Now, she will willingly give hugs and I know it meant so much to Auntie Lisa ( we look forward to visiting with her little Paige next year ~ what a wonderful Christmas it will be having her home!)

It was so nice having hubby home on Christmas Eve (he is always working on this day - except for this year!) and I didn't feel rushed or very stressed preparing our meal. We had my family over later in the day -about 12 in all - what a fun time we had!

Eddie & his cousin, Joey get along great!

Anthony and his cousin, Frankie also have a special relationship

Mia was thrilled with her new gift!

This was an awesome, heartfelt hug :)

~ JOY ~

Since staring kindergarten, Eddie loves to play school!
This was the perfect gift!

Eddie with his Aunt Mary & Uncle Frank

Poppy is silly!

My parents with Mia and I

Daddy's princess

Penny is such a good sport!

What a blessing!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Thank you to my best girlfriends for another lovely Christmas tea together. It is something I look so forward too ~ the tea and little food are always delicious, but nothing can compare to the company. I love you guys!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


My boys had gingerbread making "parties" in their classes on the same day - thankfully at different times!

First, my big boy, who is in 5th grade had his gingerbread making party. The kids brought in all different kinds of candies, pretzels, graham crackers & icings and got to work covering a mini milk carton. I brought along little brother (who has afternoon kindergarten) and the little princess. The little ones got such a kick out of being in Anthony's classroom - it was real cute. Eddie sat by Anthony's side the entire time
just watching his big brother ~
The kids had to promise not to eat any of the candy.
Anthonys hands were covered with icing and so sticky,
his first impulse was to lick his fingers
and then his eyes
grew wide with fear!
Uh oh ~ it was our secret :)

Ta da!
He even made a pretzel ladder for the
gummy bear to hang up the Christmas lights :)
I'm glad we were able to see Anthony's finished house - but then we had to rush out and drive Eddie to class! I kissed him good-bye and told him "I'll see you in a little while". Mia and I ran home and I gave her lunch - then, I quickly put her up for her nap. Poppy & Gma stayed at the house while I ran back up to Eddie's school for his gingerbread party.

The kindergarten classes where not allowed to use sweets or any type of food for their houses . The schools are really cracking down on sweets and unhealthy snacks in the classrooms. So, we made gingerbread bag houses instead. I was unsure of how these projects would turn out, but it was a very cute idea:
The kids colored in pictures to cut out and glue on the "house".
They cut out windows, doors and "candies".
They also glued on some cotton for snow:
Great job Eddie!

Mommy and her little guy.
*When I first walked into his class,
Eddie sweetly yelled out:"Moooomie!"
precious. . .
After we finished his gingerbread house,
he walked me all around his classroom,
he was so proud :)
I made it home before Mia woke, and she never knew I was gone :)
What a fun, fun day!