Sunday, December 30, 2007

Deal OR No Deal?

Having a couple days off of work makes a whole world of difference IF you send the kids to daycare and can have the house to yourself! We've been a little productive lately, although one can hardly notice by the looks of the house now. We are loving those Sterlite and Rubbermaid storage bins. Wonders! We've got all the GeoTrax stuff separated and in labeled boxes (although the entire set is now covering the living room floor) and the Power Rangers are attempting to find their storage bins as well (they just don't manage to stay in them long enough). Rudy has emptied the guest room closet to make room for his sportcard sets, while my stuff got sent to death row, if I hadn't found a new home for it. Coincidentally, the master bedroom closet got some rearranging too, and it is MY stuff that got thrown to the floor for immediate determination in what to do with. WHY? It was doing just fine where it was!!!! I have taken all of my clogging performance attire and boxed it to give back to the Sutter's Stompers (sorry guys!) and although it was hard to do, it was needed. Even Rudy was a little sentimental in seeing the stuff go (why? he's the one that was trying to make more room in the closet - I just helped it out a ton!). The guest room was something to see. Rudy had STACKS of sportscards all over the floor and on the queen-sized bed. Each stack was piled there for a reason and if any human or dog EVER got in that room to knock ONE of those stacks over, it'd be disastrous! I haven't been back in there lately, but know that somehow (and after 4 hours of continuous paper shredding) Rudy managed to get a table out from the game/teen/computer room in there, only to make room for this air hockey table we acquired.

Yes, that's the deal...the air hockey table.

My good friend Terra had this hockey table that she so badly needed to get rid of. It was acting as a dumping ground for clutter at her house, taking up a lot of space (space where a Christmas tree for the family would be placed) and Terra didn't feel bad about giving it away, as it was just given to her (for the very same reasons). Guess what it's going to do here??? Long story short....we acquired the hockey table, while Terra took from us the mammoth elliptical machine that was taking up the space where my dresser is supposed to be. Did I make a good deal? This hockey table is HUGE and heavy. As it lay on its side in the hallway for us to dodge for about 3 weeks, Uncle Ben came over this weekend to help Rudy put it together. Please don't let there be an emergency, because I'm not sure how to get myself between the hockey table and the foosball table to get out in a decent amount of time!

A little boost is needed for the little ones.

Scoring on the other end is a blast, but scoring on his own goal is not.

Donovan and Uncle Ben have a few tricks planned.

Can you teach a monkey a few tricks?

Game face.

Sure, the monkey is bigger than the paddle....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sleepin' like dogs...

Roxy's been known to SIT on Fred,
but on a cold Christmas morning, she went all out! back!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's finally here...

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'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house... Not a creature was stirring, BUT in the garage.....a MOUSE!!!

Yep, we arrived home after Christmas Eve activities to a mouse in the bag of dog food in the garage. After putting Donovan to sleep, Rudy was no where to be found, but in the garage on "rodent patrol". He attempted to scoop out Fred and Roxy's dinner for the night, but instead found himself determined to catch the critter. The dogs made me aware that they had not eaten and were still waiting for their Christmas Eve meal. They eventually got their meal, but after 2 escapes from the glue traps, our "critter" got away! I'm afraid he may not make it through the night with all the traps Rudy put out, unless, of course, he has no desire to return to the scene of his crime. Perhaps he got his evening's share of dog food?

It's been a long day (Dec. 24th, typing here on Christmas morning). Sparing details of our morning and afternoon drama (you're not missing anything), I'll post about our evening. Attempting to get to 5:00 Children's Christmas Eve Mass, we raced over to Grandma and Papa Avila's house to drop off all of the presents we loaded in the car, plus the dessert for the night's dinner we were to have. Surprisingly, Cousin Bianca was there and joined us in going to church. Luckily we got there before Mass started, but we weren't so lucky in getting a seat! Rudy, Dominic and Bianca stood at the back, while Donovan and I were offered a corner seat in the back row. Mighty tight squeeze, but it worked the majority of the time.
Arriving back at the Avila house, we had dinner and opened presents with the kids. It was Christmas chaos! Dominic squealed with delight at his presents that he opened. Donovan carefully tore wrapping paper off of his. He was excited about his gifts as well. I must say, however, that Uncle Ben (better hire a bodyguard) scored big time tonight - winning 1st place in their Fantasy Football League AND collecting the $120 jackpot for correctly guessing the names in our Gift Exchange that we do every year. Geesh!

It's rare to get a picture with all the cousins together:
Bianca, Sydney, Peyton, Kalyn, Donovan, Dominic and Matthew

Dominic and Bianca, waiting for presents to open!

Sydney, tempted by ornaments.

Peyton, tempted by shoes!

Do not disturb. Concentrating here.

Dominic helps Uncle Ben with hard-to-open packaging.

Dominic's Battlefleet Megazord!

Are YOU smarter than a 6th grader???

It's 2:15 AM - has anyone seen Santa?
'Cause I'm not going to get stuck eating these!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dominic's First Christmas Program

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On Wednesday night we all had the pleasure of going to see Dominic's class sing at his school's Christmas Program. Because of the amount of people attending and the minimal space in the church, where it was held, the view I got of him was from the chest up. Grandma Gertie's view was much better, due to her private/reserved seating. Lucky duck!

The program was called "Once Upon A Starry Night" and his class got up to sing "One Last Sheep" with hand-motions and all. Very cute! (..although I didn't quite get the view of the foot/leg action taking place). Dominic seemed very serious about his role and you could tell he was concentrating on his "part" very closely.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Be assured...

...that when Grandma Gertie offers to watch the kids so that we can get some Christmas shopping done, that....
  1. We might lose track of time and not return home at a decent hour (being kid-free and all).
  2. That Grandma will have her camera charged, ready to go, and she's planned the day's "photo shoot" somewhere. Thank goodness for cute kids, eh?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Buon Natale!

I think that's how you say "Merry Christmas" in Italian? Here's the sequel to my "That's Amore" post from below. Our office Christmas Party was last Saturday, December 8th. We had a fantastic time. Thanks to my friend Terra who was the photo paparazzi that night...

Rudy and me (without wine)!

Rudy, myself and one of our Field Superintendents.

My dinner (Petto di Pollo) and dessert (Rosina al Cioccolato) - YUM!

Rudy's dinner (Contro Filetto con Fungi) and dessert (Tiramisu) - YUM!

Thanks to Grandma and Papa Gertie, we were able to go to my office party, while they watched the boys and attended Donovan's Daycare Potluck and Caroling Night. Dominic, the daycare grad, even got the courage to do a bit of a solo. Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer was his song of choice - good choice, since BOTH Grandmas were present! (Crazy kid!)

Here are some pre-party pictures (taken by me):

...and Grandma Gertie's (not so proud) photos...(but cute kids!)...

No Blood, Sweat OR Tears!

On Wednesday, Dominic came home with his first loose tooth! On Thursday, the tooth came home in an envelope from school. Wow, that was easy! I thought for sure the tooth would take a couple weeks to rot before it wanted out, but I guess with Dominic's vested interest in wiggling it and with the help of pretzels for snack, out it came! He actually bit down on it and spit it out in his hand knowing that was what it was. No blood, sweat or tears! Thank goodness. I'm not sure how I would handle those gross, gummy, bloody ones that take forever to fall out. For sure, I'm doomed for the next one.
Dominic went to bed that night with his tooth under his pillow. Rudy had put him to sleep (but of course Dominic insisted that I lay with him for awhile). I finished up some dishes in the sink and put him back to bed. We talked a little about his tooth and he showed me that he put it under his pillow...when...the tooth was gone, and there was MONEY from the Tooth Fairy!!!! What? How'd that happen? When did she come? Needless to say, Dominic was ecstatic and took even longer to get him to sleep for the night.

Notes to Ms. Fairy:
  1. Could you wait until the child is asleep at least??

  2. What are you thinking? THREE dollars for a tooth??? You know, I'm only trying to save you some money, but $3.00??? What happens now...are the next 19 teeth to fall out worth even more?

  3. What do you do with those teeth you collect anyway?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Out of the mouth of a 5-year-old...

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As I take a quick "potty break" before getting Dominic ready for bed, he pops into the bathroom to see that my pants were not buttoned, but rubberbanded closed...

D: Mommy, why do you have a rubberband on your pants?

Me: Because my tummy is getting bigger since the baby is growing and I can't button them anymore.

D: (looking toward my back) Well, your butt is getting bigger too!

Do I laugh or do I cry?

Friday, December 7, 2007

That's Amore!

The Boss has exquisite tastes when it comes to food (and wine!). Being Irish/Italian, he has chosen his Momma's cooking as his reasoning behind the good tastes. That's the Italian in him! For the past three years, our company Christmas Party has been held at Il Fornaio Restaurant and, once again, I get the pleasure of making the arrangements, getting out the invites, gathering RSVP's, etc. Picking out our "menu" for the evening is always fun to do, especially when you're hungry and crave Italian food. This year, the entree choices are very similar to those we've had in the past. No complaining!

For some reason (no complaints, again), the Boss likes to treat me to lunch at the restaurant before the event to "taste test" and get his "feelers" out there (I even have to create him a "pocket guide" to remind him of first names of all the guests - just in case his senility sets in!) Seems silly to review the establishment when a contract has already been signed for the big day and I can't tell the difference between a $75 bottle of Merlot versus "Two Buck Chuck". There's never been a bad review! Funny, this is the 3rd year I have to pass on the bottomless glasses of vino. While pregnant with Donovan, I had to pass (on the sly) as well. With cocktails at 5:00 and dinner at 6:00, we always have a wonderful and festive evening with our coworkers. Very elegant! Very rare for the owner of a private company to do for their employees and their guests! I'm very lucky! Today's review at lunch was "thumbs up" and I can't wait to do it again tomorrow night for the real deal!
Here's what I had...
Cannelloni Al Forno
Large pasta tubes filled with rotisserie chicken, spinach, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella; bechamel and tomato sauces.
Crema al Doppio Gusto
Fennel infused custard with chocolate mousse and caramelized sugar topping.
..and the Boss enjoyed...
Gnocchi Emilia
Housemade potato dumplings with butternut squash, Italian ham, porcini mushroom, truffle oil and cream.
Affogato Al Caffe
Espresso poured over two scoops of vanilla gelato and topped with fresh whipped cream.
Needless to say, the Boss also enjoyed his BOTTLE of Costa Bussia Barolo, while I had "tap water"! Mmm...mmm...mmm.
Tomorrow's dinner will have different selections, so check in later for exciting tales from my tastebuds!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I've got nuthin'!

Because I probably won't have anything worth blogging about until this weekend, I thought I'd satisfy those hungry blog browsers out there with a couple pictures, worthy of posting, but never falling into place of a published blog post....

When cleaning up the house for holiday guests,
it's important to look EVERYWHERE!

Vinny argues with his Abuela about when he can share
her Bud Light with her.

"19 years, 10 months and 29 days...and counting!"

Black Friday Ads are the best, aren't they?
(Donovan woke up early to go shopping with Dad,
while Dominic and I got some much needed rest!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is it time yet???

Okay, let me get this down before I lose it all...

When will baby be here?

Because I have opted for a VBAC, it is important to get the due date as close as possible. I MUST go into labor on my own. There will be no induction. We want to be sure we don't go "overdue". Things do change in an instant though, and it's all up to BABY and the temporary housing unit he currently lives in. After today's appointment, I've been given orders to start "pep talking" the bambino into which end goes up. We don't want another breech position!

According to MY (using online sources) calculation, the due date is 4/3/07.

Calculation by ultrasound with Dr. A on August 27, 2007, the due date is 4/13/07.

Calculation by ultrasound on November 19, 2007, the due date is 4/3/07.

Calculation by LMP (not normal anyway) and very unreliable by Dr. P's "wheel of dates", the due date is 4/16/07.

Recalculation of 8/27's appointment measurements by Dr. P, the due date is now 4/8/07.

Knowing that it can take up to two days for "sperm to meet egg", that calculation's due date is 4/10/07.

Are you getting it? Rudy can be very "analytical" about things, being a Civil Engineer, and has this fascination with numbers. But he doesn't know about these numbers! In fact, I'm sure he'd be impressed in my anal ways I have kept track of things during the months of June and July! I'll spare the details!

Heck! When will the baby get here?

Some lady in the waiting room today asks when I was due...I just answered, "April". Her response was "Oh gawd, you gotta long way to go!" Gee, I didn't think so!

One day a couple weeks ago when Dominic, Donovan and Rudy had a holiday, I got home from work and Dominic says, "Mommy, did the new baby come out of your tummy yet?". Oh gosh! Isn't a bit early to be asking? Poor thing. He's not the only one anxious I guess.

So, we KNOW we're having a boy. What we don't know is when HE will get here. Want to take a guess? Play along! (...but you have to guess time of birth, length and weight too!)

Here are those long awaited "pictures" of the little squirt from last week's BIG ULTRASOUND:

Here he is!

Need help here? Baby's head at right is looking at you;
the furthest camel-like hump from the word "BOY"
is the determining gender factor; and can we assume
(like in the above photo) that that is his hand nearby?

He is pretty cute! (verified by Grandma Gertie). And today, Dr. P couldn't get over his cute nose!! What? How can she tell? MUST take after MY nose if I do say so myself! What'dya think?

A Great Day for a Birthday!

Mom (aka Grandma Gertie)
Rudy (aka Daddy)

We celebrated these two special birthdays on Thanksgiving while the family was around. Mom made pumpkin pie for that day, so I managed to prop up some candles in it for her. I bought Rudy a "Strawberry Fields" cake so he wouldn't feel left out. Special birthdays for two very special people.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A (Birth) Day at the Park

Who would have guessed a birthday party at the park near the end of November would turn out on such a nice day? The sun was out and the Tryptophan-laced kids were ready to blow of some cooped-up energy in celebration of Cousin Andrew's 4th Birthday. It was a Monster Jam!

Hug a pole, but never stick your tongue on it!

Bianca , just hangin' around.

Just swingin'.

Evidently, Dominic was having such a good time, he was rarely around for the camera.