Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Better Late Than Never

With all of the craziness of the first birthday party and a *big* announcement I'm going to making soon, Gabe's photoshoot had to get put on the backburner. Next thing I knew, it was the end of August and I had nothing! So I guess this will have to do...

You didn't think we were going out like that right?
Happy 12 months Gabe. You're a good kid. It was so so fun getting you all costumed up every month this year, I can't believe it's come to an end. You're definitely not my little baby anymore. You're getting to be a big boy who won't just let me pose him or stick a mustache on him or even let me tattoo him! I'm going to miss these little photo sessions and I'm sure all your fans will too.

So although it is technically a week + late, my baby boy is still twelve whole months old. Born in the hottest month of the year to a mama that hates heat. He's the best thing that August ever did. So this month, we salute the month of August's namesake, Julius Caesar Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman empire.

baby in a toga!

I don't want to send those plebes in with the lions but that's my job I suppose

Oooo people fighting lions! This looks fun!

What? An emperor can't have a wardrobe malfunction?

Whatevs. I'm sure my kingdom will be too distracted by my big booger to notice my pecs.

Annnnnd if they've got something to say about it, I'll sword fight them! Hiiii-yah!

This job is rough.

Ok, so now we're really done.

Gabriel, you are the best thing ever. You've grown into the cutest little dude. You crack up ALL the time and have the most infectious laugh, people can't help but smile. You still let me pick you up and give you hugs and kisses and cuddle you for 30 second intervals before you try to wiggle away. It's my favorite part of every day. You've had quite the adventurous month too.

- You went to the Pocono mountains for the first time and spent some quality time with your aunt, uncle and cousins.
-You went on a roadtrip to visit your grandpa in Illinois. You made pit stops in Ohio, Indiana and even made it up to Iowa!
-You got all rednecked out and rode on your first tractor with your grandpa.
-You ate a whole bunch of new foods, including your first steak.
-You really got into Peekaboo. You pretty much die laughing over it.
-You say "baby" whenever you see yourself or another little kid.
-You're weighing in at 23 lbs, rocking size 4 dipes and size 4 shoes.
-You had your first birthday party! The one in which your mom went overboard but loved every second of it. She hopes you liked it. 
And now let's take a trip down memory lane...

In honor of back to school September, our little buddy put his thinking cap on for his photo shoot. He’s one month old and ready to hit the books! Clearly an overachiever from the start.
Gabe decided this month to tip his hat to a famous Italian celebrated in October, Christopher Columbus. But he wasn’t really into the tri-tip hats, so he went with his next favorite Italian, Chef Boyardee. If he’s anything like his parents, this kiddo was born loving carbs. Add in the opportunity to sport a mustache at two months old and we were sold! Happy 2 months Gabe!
Here we are, it's November. Lil buddy is 3 months old & decided to honor his grandpop and late great grandpop and the rest of the armed forces with a salute to Veterans Day. Since my dad and grandpop were both sailors, it would only suffice that Gabe be one too. We present... Admiral Adorable!
Your first Christmas Gabe! You rang it in at four months old and already viewed what will surely be your favorite Christmas movie ever, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. You loved it. You even asked me to dress you up as Cousin Eddie! You’ve clearly got your mom’s awesome sense of humor.
New Years in Philadelphia isn’t complete without the Mummers. And even though he was just 5 months young, Gabe wanted join the Fancy Brigade and head down Market St. playing his sax. How could we say no?
Ol’ Honest Gabe here celebrated his 6 month birthday this month, as well as his favorite president Abraham Lincoln’s birthday! He’s expecting his own memorial any day now.
Happy 7 months Gabe! Since it's March and you celebrated your first St. Patrick's Day, we decided to pay homage to mama's most favorite Irish thing ever...Bono. I'm sure when you read this someday in the future, Bono will still be fronting U2 and pretty much still being the most amazing musician known to man.
April showers bringbring adorable baby boys, that’s what! Our little guy hit 8 months and decided to spruce up for the occasion with a nice long bath..err shower.
Gabe celebrated Cinco de Mayo this month and he may have hit the tequila a little hard. He napped ALL day. Hey, he made it to nine months, he deserved it!
This June, our little buddy boy turned 10 months old. And since the little cutie is a mini John with his dimples and chin cleft, he thought he'd chip in with his daddio's household duties...give his old man a break for Father's day.
Eleven months old and already out there saving lives and looking good doing it. While most of the country was experiencing a disgusting heat wave this July, Gabe's staying cool at the Jersey shore where he got a job as a lifeguard. We couldn't be prouder.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene: Not Just a Whiny Girl on Real World Seattle

So I was slowly coming down off the birthday party high last week when Irene rolled into town. A hurricane. In Philadelphia. Yeah, we're not used to that sort of thing. So Gabe & I headed to Target to pick up some water bottles and bagels (obvs. necessities) along with the rest of the world, then hunkered down for the stormy weekend. Hunkered to me meant that I put my pajamas on in the afternoon, make homemade pizza and joined my lil fam in the living room for tv watching. It was kind of nice to have an excuse to relax.

Every once in awhile, we'd flip over to the news to get the latest. We kept hearing that the worst of it for us was expected Sunday 4am. So I went right on relaxing, occasionally peeking outside to see just how hard it was raining. I kept my cool until Saturday night at 10. All of a sudden, the news anchor starts telling me that there were two tornado warnings, right down the street from us. Well shit. We don't know what to do in tornados either. So I made the executive decision to retrieve the sleeping (not for long!) baby and make John take cover in our gross, cold, cement basement. At that point, our power went out.  We waited awhile and decided to head back upstairs to bed. Being crazy, I decided that I didn't want Gabe sleeping in his room in case one of the 12 giant trees we have decided to come down. Therefore, the three of us headed to bed, no A/C, no fans, windows closed. Gross. I expected to be up all night but magically, when we woke, it was 7am, the power was on and there was no storm damage. Pretty uneventful...just how I like my hurricanes.

So anyway, we obviously didn't do anything fun this weekend so I don't have much to share. So I went lookin and realized I never shared some random pics I took last month when we visited John's sister at her mountain house. Can you (locals) believe it was my first time to the Poconos? I couldn't. But it was awesome. They live in a lakehouse community so it's got little beaches and community pools. And they've also apparently got a lot of Russians. Every now and then, my sister-in-law would lean over and whisper, "Russians" and shake her head.. Hahaha. I was dying.  It would seem these Russians come down from New York, speak only in their native tongue, pick blueberries on the side of the road and wear questionable clothing.  Pocono DRAMA at it's best.

Mountain house appropriate reading material...or in Gabe's case, tearing up material.

Just swimmin and teethin...

Great, now it's the both of them. Just what I need.

Gabe and his cousins at the carnival. At this point, John's sister kept remarking on the "quality" of the carnival workers this year.  Apparently in years past, there have been sketchy characters...typical carnies I would think. The community was happy with this year's carnie uniform of a blue polo shirt.  As soon as everyone's wearing blue polo shirts, they look more like Best Buy employees and less like trailer-livin', teethless travelin' folk.

I pretty much just nod and smile. Nod and smile.

Right here.

FYI carnivals aren't much fun for babes.

That's bout all that's fit to print. Hope you had a good weekend and that Irene didn't treat you too badly.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

These Sure are Tasty

See those things in the middle down there? They're called s'mores cups.

This is what they're supposed to look like...

I have a feeling the "Chef" over at Pampered Chef wasn't up making them at 11 o'clock the night before her son's first birthday party. When I went to make them, the dipping stage at the end didn't go as planned (I mentioned something about a meltdown, right?) Either way, they tasted the same...which was great. And I know a few people were waiting for this recipe, so here you go. I'm re-writing it because Pampered Chef likes to pretend that you have to have their equipment in order to turn on the oven.

7 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
4 bars chocolate candy, divided
12 large marshmallows


1.Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place graham crackers into a large resealable plastic bag. Finely crush into crumbs using Baker's Roller®your fist;. Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and butter in Small Batter Bowl. Using Small Scoop spoon, place scant scoop of crumb mixture in each cup of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan. Press crumbs to form shallow cups with Mini-Tart Shaper your thumb. Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling. Meanwhile, break two of the candy bars into rectangles. Remove pan from oven; place one rectangle into each cup.

2.Cut marshmallows in half crosswise using Professional Shears scissors dipped in cold water. Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are just slightly softened. Remove from oven to Stackable any Cooling Rack; cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove cups from pan. Cool completely.

3.Break remaining candy bars and place in (1-cup/250 mL) Prep a Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute-1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds. Dip the top of each marshmallow in melted chocolate. Turn top-side up and let stand 40 minutes-1 hour or until set.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Gnome Birthday Finale

It's about time to wrap this baby up. First was the details, then the birthday boy himself. And now we wouldn't have a party without awesome guests, right? It would just be the three of us sitting around eating a TON of gnome cookies, not that that would be all bad. So anyway, thanks for coming guys!  I set up a little makeshift photobooth. I didn't have anything fancy like a tripod or a remote or anything. Just some props and a (borrowed) camera. Thanks Sarah!

I think they turned out pretty cute. I love good sports. I also love people that think outside the box.

like on-location photoshoots in my backyard.

Or in the bushes.


So I think that's about it. We had an awesome time. Every second of planning was worth it. And just a reminder that the few vendors I did use were awesome and I highly recommend them.

Allison's Cups N' Cakes did the adorable woodgrain cake.
Sweets by Rose did the gnome and mushroom cookie favors.
Southern Girl Bakery did the mini cookies.
Isrut Designs did the mini gnomes & shrooms for the terrariums as well as the cake topper.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gnome Party: Part Deaux

Thanks for all your awesome compliments on the gnome party yesterday! So as much as I like to think that crafty details and fun desserts are the best part of a party, nothing proves me wrong like shots of this kid.

The birthday boy! As much as a nudge as he's been the past few weeks (getting back on schedule after vacay, molars coming in), he was a perfect little buddy on his party day. He decided to go down for a two hour nap at 10am, waking up just in time to greet his first couple guests. This nap made those crafty details possible. And my shower. It made my shower possible. Anyway, he spent the rest of the day trucking around the driveway, wiggling out of the arms of unsuspecting aunts and uncles and working up a little red-faced sweat.

Finally we wrangled him into the chair for cake-time. He was unsure.

Gotta keep hydrated.

Once the crowd started gathering around him and singing, he became very suspicious. Btw, adorable cake topper made by my extremely talented friend, sculpey Isrut!

He very gently stuck a fingertip in the icing.

Then wiped it off.

I've had enough!

Alright, I'll give it another swipe.

He barely ate any. Which was fine. It made for a nice breakfast for the next two days.

We cut him loose and he was back at it...

til present time!

I wasn't sure if I was supposed to open them at the party or not, knowing no one had the patience or inclination to sit and watch him attempt to do it. Plus, it was hot. And old people (and me) plus hot equals crankies.  So I decided to do it shower-style. I quickly opened them, handed them to him for a quick look and moved on to the next one.

Clothes. Meh.

Paper. Excellent.

John unwrapped anything that caught his attention for more than a few seconds.

like this baby piano...



Water break with GiGi

Clifford's always a good choice.

Back to the piano to make sure no one else is touching it. Hi Maks!

He looks hot and exhausted. The baby, I mean.

Sing us a song, piano man...

He even considered setting up a tip jar.

Anyway, Gabe got scores of awesome presents from so many generous people. We spent the remainder of the weekend trying to figure out how our house turned into a daycare in one day. Toys EVERYWHERE. We need a solution. And fast.

I'll finish up birthday stuff tomorrow! Hope you're enjoying it :)


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