Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

For me, Christmas Eve is a little more important than Christmas. In the 13 years that I've known Todd, I've slowly established Christmas Eve as our quiet time together...first as a young couple and now as a family of four. Its a slow-paced day full of food and preparation for the next day. I always create a menu with at least a few new things, we make cookies for Santa and do some last minute wrapping. This year's menu was made up of mostly easy dishes, use of the slow cooker and quick prep meals. I made dark chocolate and butterscotch scones, vegetable barley soup, gingerbread cookies, peppered cheese bread, garlic roasted chicken and potatoes, spinach salad with cranberries, walnuts and feta cheese and apple pie a la mode. This was my first time making chicken since high school and I can honestly say it was moist and delicious. However, the true star of our menu was the vegetable barley soup. It was warm, filling and flavorful. It was so darn good that even Norrin ate a bowlful. Anyway, besides the food, we took a short outing for some last minute Christmas shopping (I was a little grumpy to be out of my kitchen), there was the exchange of gifts from me and Todd to the kids and each other and the displaying of the milk and cookies for Santa. Ani was a little unsettled by all the changes in her daily schedule, but she's a much too happy baby to let it bother her for long. Norrin was excited and went to bed relatively promptly. Without further ado, here's a few pictures of our day...

Norrin decorating cookies...he was very serious about it and I'm pretty sure it was his favorite part of the whole day.
Taaa daaa!

Ani Rose in her Christmas striped stockings.

My wild crew- Norrin with icing on his face and Ani with drool on her chin.

Norrin singing many, many Christmas carols while Ani tries to open gifts a little bit early :).

The best gift for a gal who loves to bake- a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. This mama is mighty happy...in case, you couldn't tell.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Norrin's Christmas 2011 Performance

On December 23rd, Norrin had his Christmas party with a short little caroling performance that the family could attend. He sang loudly and he looked at me the whole time...except when Michael started slowly blocking his view. There was some pushing, a few words were exchanged and Norrin kept an arm pressed against Michael for the remainder of the performance to remind him that he better stay on his side. It was funny, sweet, entertaining and heartwarming to see our little man remembering just about every word of four different songs. And his confidence was beautiful. A truly proud parent moment for us.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December...So Far

Oh, my, we've been busy this month. First, we managed to kill another camera. We take about 500 pictures on a weekly basis and eventually, our cameras can't take it anymore. We don't buy the most expensive cameras, so that could be part of it, but we have little ones...with sticky hands...and drooly mouths. Anyway, now that we have a new one there's plenty of pictures to show you :).

First, there's been lots of crafting for Christmas. I've become a virtual knitting machine, cranking out numerous hats and neck warmers of varying types. This lovely hat that Miss Ani Rose is modeling is the only example I'm showing because I can't ruin the surprise for everyone. I've taken on the challenge of knitting another vest for Norrin's Christmas performance. I'm about three quarters of the way through and wondering what's so wrong with a store-bought sweater vest :).
At the beginning of December, my mom came for a visit and watched our wild babies while Todd and I went out to dinner. It was nice to have some time together, drink wine, eat fancy food and not play defense at the table. My mom claims that she loves spending time with the kiddos, but I'm not so sure. Ani cried and carried on the most. When I got home, she snuggled into my arms and started looking at Grandmom and patting my chest as if to say, "this is what I wanted, Grandmom". Not sure if she meant me or the milk :).

Ani's drooling up a storm. She's on six teeth and counting. She's also very mobile. Crawls, cruises and scoots everywhere....God help me.

Grandmom Jump brought apples and pears...so Norrin had to have one of each.

Then, he had to bring out more for me and Da.

Here's a shot of our little cruiser.

And when she wants to be held and I want to get things done, we compromise with the Ergo carrier.

Yes, there's lots to be done. Crafts to finish, presents to wrap, cookies to bake. Its always an adventure though.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

This Thanksgiving was a little busy for us. Todd played his usual football game with his childhood friends in the morning and then we went to two different places that were not even remotely close to one another. The first stop was Grandmom Meatball's. She made one of the best meals I can remember in the almost 13 years I've known Todd. Ani Rose was a big fan of the turnips, although the cranberry sauce was a close second. Norrin refused to eat. He was only planning on eating at our second stop, his friend Henry's house. However, even there I had to sit next to him and convince him to try at least one bite of everything. Between running around, wrestling and barely eating anything all day, Nor must have been the only one to lose weight on Thanksgiving. It was really nice to spend time with family and friends, but we were truly exhausted in the end. Poor lil Ani was the most vocal about her busy day- she cried on and off almost the entire one hour drive from Amy's house to ours and then proceeded to stay awake until 11:30 pm just to remind me that she is to be asleep in the comfort of her own home no later than 9 pm. Norrin was ready to do it all again the next day...crazy child.

Ani and Mommy on the way into Grandmom's.

Norrin bringing a little of Mommy's pumpkin spice bread to Grandmom Meatball.

Norrin and Ani playing with some building blocks.

The architect at work.

Posing by his masterpiece.

Ani was so tired at the dinner table, we thought Uncle Jimmy was going to put her to sleep with the soothing forehead rub.

Norrin pretending to eat a turkey leg very convincingly...my little barbarian.

Two out of three Borrelli children greeted us (blocked our entry to their home).

Amy pouring coffee- the most necessary part of our meal because the turkey sure didn't slow Norrin and Henry down.

Ed showing just how refined he can be :). Love this picture.

Ani nursing herself to sleep on a mama who wishes she could be sleeping, too.

Our beautiful, sleepy girl.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oona Loona Noona

When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary friend named Christopher. I don't remember every detail of Christopher's existence, but I'm told I yelled at my grandmother for sitting on him. Someone also told me that its unusual for a girl to have a boy for an imaginary friend. I don't know if its a sign of genius, insanity or creativity, but now my son has an imaginary friend named Oona Loona Noona and she is a girl. He refers to her as his imaginary friend and we've had at least three birthday parties for her with three imaginary birthday cakes. We never call her Oona for short- she is Oona Loona Noona and she has curly hair with a bow on top. Sometimes she's as big as Norrin and sometimes she's as small as Ani, but she drives her own car. Norrin has drawn several pictures of Oona Loona Noona. And without further ado, here she is :).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Because I Know You Missed Us

October was one wild and crazy month. Then, we all got sick. First Norrin, then me and then Todd. Ani managed to just get a little bit congested, but she's also working on sprouting a fourth tooth, so she really didn't get off that easy :). These pictures were taken in October...before we all got sick...because who wants to see pictures of us under a blanket of Kleenex?

Norrin posing with one of his great chalk masterpieces.

Norrin creating another chalk person.

Mommy and Ani Rose...and yes, I did knit that fabulous cowl I'm wearing :).

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Todd was looking through some photos and he found a zip drive with some pictures that my brother, Norrin's beloved "Uncle" took. Norrin can't be any older than one and a half to two years old in most of these pictures. It was a really great surprise to find a few more pictures documenting our adventures.

Norrin and Mommy at the farm.

Norrin and Mommy at the Please Touch Museum.

Norrin's favorite game for a while- Stickers on the Face.

Norrin at the Philadelphia Zoo.

At a gas station in upstate NY...being goofy for the camera at an early age :).

Punching ducks game at Jeepers.

Squishing spiders game at Jeepers...a lot of animal cruelty games...hmmm, maybe that's why they closed.

Bouncing with Da at Jeepers.

Smooch break for Mommy.

Never happier than when he's bouncing...should have named him Tigger.

Winter walk with Da.

Mac-n-cheese at Friendly's.

Da in the snow.

Attack of the killer dinosaur...Spike was a gift from Pop Pop Fish.

Knick knack, patty whack give your dinosaur a bone.

Norrin in his super cute stripey jammies trying to figure out Jacob's Ladder.

Snuggling with Rolo.My beautiful boy.

Breaking the rules at an early age at the Camden Adventure Aquarium.

Ice cream at Friendly's. Yum.

Playing with Da.

In Center City with Pop Pop Fish.

Hope you enjoyed this short walk down memory lane. I can't get over how much Norrin has grown.