Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fall Happenings

Antonio turned 46 this year.  As usual, he didn't ask for anything, but I got us tickets to the play "All Childish Things" which is about a group of Star Wars geeks and their antics to get a load of Star Wars memorabilia (think The Big Bang Theory about Star Wars).  It was very good and the perfect play to go to for his birthday.

I made his favorite cake: white cake with strawberry filling.


Quinton passed on the cake and stuck with ice cream.

46 and better than ever!

Roman got an Outstanding Student Award at school and even got to be on the morning announcements (they are video broadcast to all the classrooms).  Here he is showing off his medal.

Domenic fell asleep outside our bedroom... pantless.  Why are little bums so stinkin' cute?

The kids posing with their Jack-o-Lanterns.  I say "their" jack-o-lanterns, but really I did all the work.  Carving pumpkins is never like I imagine it will be.  I like to imagine us all sitting around the kitchen table, laughing and talking while we carve away our designs.  Instead it is kids screaming they want to start, and then 3 minutes in getting bored because it is a lot of work to clean out and carve a pumpkin.  So instead, I put on Halloween music and carved them all myself from designs the kids picked out from on-line. My hand was feeling pretty crampy by the end of the night!

Domenic with "his" pumpkin.

Quinton trying to mimic the face of the pumpkin.

Silly faces! (Roman is not in these pictures because he had fallen asleep)

Quinton's Birthday and Baptism

 So our Quinton is eight!  He is definitely a typical eight year old - loves minecraft, bathroom humor, crazy antics, and being "good at everything" (the confidence of youth!)

 He asked for spaghetti and garlic bread for his birthday dinner.  I have to say, I am lucky that my family's
birthday requests are usually very easy to fulfill!

 Birthday pose for the camera!

 Opening his presents - this one is a scooter.

 The latest Elephant and Piggie books.

A kid-friendly camera.  You can guess which gift he was most excited about!

Quinton said he wanted donuts instead of cake, so that was another easy request!

 Grandma and Grandpa were out of town for his birthday, so they came by the next night to celebrate.  They got him a plant terrarium that grows carnivorous plants.  We haven't done it yet because it requires being kept in the fridge for 6 weeks and I haven't been able to commit that much fridge space yet.  Maybe after the holidays.

 Quinton was baptized a week after his birthday.  It was a nice low-key affair.  Antonio baptized and confirmed Quinton.


I am about to make you very jealous...

That's right!  My dad built shoe shelves for my birthday!!  A couple of months ago I decided that I needed a better shoe storage solution.  My old shoe racks were damaging my shoes, and they really aren't as efficient as simple shelves.  Luckily, this thought occurred to me near my birthday and so I asked my dad if he would help me build them for my birthday.  Instead he did it all and this is the result!  Aren't they great?

Here are some other "awesome" things:  Adorable Domenic.  He got a hold of my protective goggles and he just looked so darn cute in them!

Quinton showing off his "awesome" train track.  Complete with death-defying bridge to the couch!

Washington D.C. Trip

My cousin Frankie got married in September.  My cousin Ashley (his sister) and my Aunt Connie came to my wedding, and it really meant a lot to me that they made the effort to attend.  When I received the invitation for his wedding, I told Antonio that I really wanted to go and so he got me a great deal on a flight and car rental (Antonio could be a travel agent - he is really good at getting great deals)  As I was looking at the location of the wedding - Harper's Ferry, West Virginia - I realized that it was very close to Washington D.C. where my college friend, Sarah, lives.  Turns out she was close by and we were able to get together.  She is one of those people who can make you feel like you are her best friend.  She always gives you 100% of her attention, and is so empathetic that you can't help but feel she really gets you.  My Uncle Jim and Aunt Miki also live in the D.C. area, and they invited us all out to dinner at the Officers Club.  I love the idea of live music, but why is it always so darn loud???  You couldn't have a conversation in there the music was so overwhelming.  My parents did get a dance in and Sarah and I also took the leap and danced. They were playing Black Velvet (I think), but it sure was a LONG version!  When there are only two or three of you on the dance floor, an 8 minute song is a little too much!

A quick picture of me and Sarah at the end of the night!

Little Sewing Project and Some Pictures of the Kids

I really love Pinterest.  It is so handy for keeping track of all those fantastic ideas and tutorials on the internet.  Here is a tutorial that I saw on making a little bag.  I made several!  Not that I really need any more makeup bags.  I don't really use them that often, and I have plenty because they seem to be a frequent "free gift" with purchase.

As a side note, one of my favorite uses for a simple make-up bag is a library bag.  Both of my kids (Domenic doesn't have one yet) have library bags that I made.  I just took a tote (another frequent freebie) and sewed a makeup bag into the top of it.  Then my kids can keep their library card in the zippered pouch and pick out their books and carry them around in their bag.  It is very effective.

And now some pictures of the kiddos.  So on our way to church there is a Planned Parenthood center.  One Sunday there was a small group of picketers out front.  Quinton asked what they were doing and I explained that they were expressing their ideas to the public.

He took that to heart and later that day he did a little picketing of this own.  He is trying to show is "angry face" so that I know how serious he is!

Roman's kindergarten has a class pet.  His name is Georgie and he is a stuffed gorilla.  Roman got his chance to take Georgie home and insisted that we had to do THREE things with Georgie.  My idea of three things (seeing Grandma, running errands, and taking him to church) didn't pass muster.  Apparently, it was critical we take Georgie to a RESTAURANT!  (You have to imagine Roman saying this- yelling out "restaurant" with his lips sticking out).  We compromised and Roman and Georgie got to go with Daddy to get takeout pizza.

Birthday Trip

 My friend Olympia and I have birthdays within a week of each other (same year).  She is one of my all-time favorite people.  Just one of those really good people.  As Benjamin Franklin said, nothing is as popular as goodness.

Anyway, Olympia and I did a competition diet last year, with the winner (losing the most body weight by percentage) buying the other one dinner.  This year we both thought we could use another competition since it is very motivating to lose weight when you are in a competition!  The first time we did this it was for only 8 weeks, and I put back on the weight pretty quickly after our competition was over.  This year, we decided to go for a 4 month competition, ending at our birthdays.  We decided we would end our competition with a weekend beach trip and the loser would buy dinner.  This time around, I bought dinner!

I started at 197 pounds, and by the half-way mark I was down to 182, but those last two months were tough.  Between birthdays and parties, I ended up the competition at 185.  Now I am back to 192.  Not liking the direction this is going, but I am not going to worry about it until January.  I am actually working on a post all about the never ending diet struggle, but that is for another day.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate that well, but we made the best of it!

There was a beautiful sunset the night we arrived, despite the drizzle.

A rainbow!!!

Olympia's artful take of me and the rainbow.

 The next day at the beach was actually quite chilly.  We didn't last too long.  My mom made this sun hat when I was a teenager.  I still have it!

 The weather was a little chilly for sunbathing, but it was perfect for walking.  We took several long walks.  One morning we saw absolutely TONS of crabs.

We also brought our bikes and did a lot of bike riding.  We biked around a state park one day and then Fort Pickens the next day.   We tried some "adventurous" paths and ended up doing a lot of biking through the mud.  But we did it!

You can actually see my face getting puffier as the trip went on.  I was 185 when we left on the trip, 3 days later I was at 194 (that is 9 pounds in 3 days).  I was able to lose all of this within a week of returning; it was just so much salty food I guess.  It totally surprised me, though because we biked A LOT and even with the cool weather, I sweat plenty.  Who knows!

Antonio is CRAZY about recycling.  When we go on trips, he will save all of our recyclables to take home.  I couldn't believe that they had recycling containers at our hotel, so I had to take a few pictures of me recycling to send to Antonio!