Party Planning…a little early

It’s not a secret that I love to plan a party.  Whether it is just to get together with friends or to celebrate a special occasion, I love to plan and throw a party.

When Jack was born, the first 6 weeks of his life were a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, Christmas, family birthdays and all of a sudden, he was 6 weeks old and was baptized.  We didn’t really have the time to organize a formal baptism for our family and friends to attend, but this time, I do plan on having more of our family present at the little guy’s baptism.

We have an heirloom Christening gown that was worn by many of my relatives, including my mother, uncles, cousins, myself and of course, Jack.  The tradition will continue with this little one as well.  Since I apparently make big babies, I don’t have much time to plan a party, especially when I have about 6 weeks of the baby just being able to get into the gown.  (When Jack wore it, we were never able to button the top button on the back because he was already so big)

I’m already perusing invitations and for party ideas.  Anyone have any suggestions or ideas for the party?  Since it will be summer, we can just have a house party in the backyard to hold the celebration.  I’m always open to new and exciting ideas/options.  We are going to keep it to about 15-20 people, mostly family and very close friends.  There will be some kids, but mainly adults.  Looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say!

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Disney on Ice- Treasure Trove

My office was offering discounted tickets to this show, and initially I thought that it was going to be a bunch of princesses on skates, so I declined the offer for tickets.  I’m glad that a coworker told me that it wasn’t.

We took Jack today and he absolutely loved the show!  He couldn’t stop watching it and sat for the entire performance!  I’m also glad that we are spending some good quality time with Jack before the new baby arrives as everything that he has known will change this summer.

He loved The Lion King performance, the Tangled performance and Aladdin.  Sounds like we need to get our hands on a copy of Aladdin!  The Genie had him laughing out loud!

The plan is to try and enjoy as many “Family of Three” things that we can before the new baby arrives.  Any suggestions or ideas are always welcome!  🙂

Enamored by the show

 

Skaters

 

Just a wonderful day with my little family.

However, going to shows like this and seeing the grandmothers with their grandchildren tugs at my heartstrings a bit.  It really breaks my heart that my mother won’t ever be able to take Jack to one of these shows, or do something just the two of them, and truthfully, he will never be able to do this with his other grandparents either as they live in California.  Things that I loved about my childhood like having sleepovers at my grandmother’s house and being able to go out for breakfast to Burger King on Saturday mornings with my Aunt Lena were things that I adored.  I just hope that Jack can have the same thing as he gets older.

Unfortunately, it seems that my Mom has taken a turn for the worst and does not really have the strength to stand, let alone taking Jack to see a show or to come shopping with us.  We just enjoy the time that we have with her.  And if anything, she would always be with Jack in spirit when he goes to a show or when we are buying the next season’s wardrobe.

Memorial Day Weekend

We all had a blast this weekend!  Aunt Colleen came home with her friend Lizzie and we just kept busy from the minute that they arrived.  Following a day of swimming in the baby pool, playing on the sand and water table, and running around the back yard, Jack fell asleep that night almost instantaneously.  He was wiped out!

Hanging out with Daddy

Saturday was another busy day with errands, hot weather, and remembrance.  Chris and I put Jack down for a nap and took a trip to my father’s grave to plant some flowers and do some weeding.  Upon arriving there, I was a little upset to see that there was no flag placed on my father’s grave or on my Uncle Bob’s grave for their service in the military.  I started to get angry.  How could they just forget to put something on the grave?  They both fought for our country and served proudly and there is no flag to indicate that?

I located the groundskeeper who was returning the backhoe from a freshly dug grave and inquired about why there were no flags place on the grave.  He explained that the grave markers, the metal flag stands which used to be on the grave, were not there and the servicemen only place a flag for each marker.  “One hundred and twenty five of the metal grave markers were recently stolen from the cemetery and the military is the only group that can replace them.  I asked for two individual flags to place in the ground instead.  He obliged and Chris and I proudly put the flags in the ground at their final resting places.  They should be honored, grave marker or no grave marker.  Hopefully the military personnel will see the flags and replace the markers that were stolen from the cemetery.

We woke up Sunday morning and went to mass.  After mass, it was already beastly hot outside.  (Around 90)  So, Colleen, Lizzie and I all jumped in the car and headed to Target for a larger pool for the backyard and other fun outside items.  Chris and I took this large rectangular pool and filled it up with air at the local convenience mart and drove home with the pool being held onto the roof of the Venza.  Totally redneck, but we laughed the whole time and got some interesting stares from many neighbors.  🙂  Needless to say, even though the water was FREEZING, we still enjoyed cooling off and soaking up some rays while enjoying burgers, hot dogs and other cookout-style foods.  At night, Grammy offered to babysit so we could all go out together, so once Jack was asleep, we headed to see the Memorial Day fireworks at the casino.

Jared, Colleen and Jack

The new pool

Love

Crawling through the tube

Grammy was having a good day

This was the first time that I have ever seen fireworks set to music, and needless to say, it was interesting.  We  were a little surprised with several of the music choices, but all in all, it was a great time.  A beer or two later, following some sightings of people in prom-style dresses (It’s a freaking CASINO people!), we all headed home.

We all went to the Memorial Day parade on Monday morning to honor those who have served and given their lives for this country.  Jack loved all of the trucks, especially the fire trucks, and was glad to see all of the children as well.  Aunt Colleen and Aunt Lizzie did their auntie duties by chasing down the candy that was being thrown by the people in the parade and filled a few bags of tootsie rolls and peppermints for later.  No children were harmed in the chasing of the candy, although they were the oldest two collecting the candy.  😉

Watching the parade with Big Leen

Watching the trucks

I need one of these

Fire trucks!!

Following the parade, we were invited to a cookout and to have a swim in a friend’s pool around the corner.  Jack loved the water and was thrilled to be able to splash around with Mommy and Daddy.  When we tried to put him in his float though, that is when the tears started.  Big fat tears.  Maybe the Mommy and Me swim class spoiled him into thinking that each time he is in the pool, he will be held and not in the float.

We left for nap time and I just started packing and prepping everyone for Tuesday.  My first day at work, even though I am spending it flying to Chicago, and Jack’s first day at his new school.  (Jack’s first day at school will be in a future post)

We remembered those who have fought for us.

Swimming Play Date

On Friday, our friends Carolyn and Elle came over with the Bridge Girls for a little iced tea, girl talk and to see two of the cutest babies splash and play in the baby pool!

Jack had quite the hard-to-get presence about him and even though Elle was mainly interested in splashing and playing with him in the pool, Jack was having a blast getting in and out of the pool.  Constantly.

I would say the most of Jack’s time was spent getting in and out of the pool instead of swimming.

And without further ado…

Jack kept getting in and out of the pool

Splash!

Bringing the beach ball in

In again

And out again...

Blowing kisses to the Bridge girls. What a ham!

 

A Bit of the Beach

For Christmas, Santa brought Jack a sand and water table for play in the backyard.  It was by far one of his favorite gifts and was sad to see it go to the garage for a few months until it got warmer.

When the sun and the warm weather finally arrived (like last week), I put together the table and immediately commenced a trip to Lowes for sand.  No water yet because it hasn’t been that warm, but that should be coming soon!

We are a beach family.  The waves, sand, sounds of the ocean are a part of us.  Jack has always been a water baby and loves anything to do with sand and water, as he should.  This makes the table that much more awesome.  Especially since Dewey Beach, Delaware is now a 4 hour drive away instead of a 2 hour drive.  😦

Here are some shots of Jack enjoying the sand and pretty much dumping handfuls of sand on the driveway.  🙂

One last drink before heading over

Determined

A little dog chasing

Having a Ball with Daddy

After going to see the Triple A Yankees game, Chris thought it would be a good idea to start conditioning our “left-handed pitcher/hitter” in baseball.  So, a quick trip for Mommy and Jack to the store, and we came home with the Little Tikes T-ball set to begin a long road of baseball “lessons.”  🙂

Setting up

Making sure everything is out of the box

Lining the bat up with the ball

Jack: 17 Months

Seventeen months.  Almost a year and a half.

If I followed in Grammy’s footsteps, I would be expecting your sibling next month, but alas, I am not.

Each day you seem to be losing your little baby face and dropping the extra baby fat and rolls on your legs.  It makes me so happy to see that you are growing and maturing and that you are healthy, but a part of me is not ready to say goodbye to the baby part of you yet.  I still long to pull out the baby swing, swaddle me’s and bottles and bring you back to a time where you would cuddle, sleep in my arms and drink a bottle as if I hadn’t fed you for days.  I really miss that.

But, I am so happy to see you thriving!  You are taking on more words each day and learning so many new things!  You used a bat to swing a ball off of a tee on Friday night and did well!  Daddy was pleased and is still hoping that you will be our little left-handed pitcher!  😉  Only time will tell, and although it seems like time is flying for me, I am thrilled that you are enjoying all that life has given to you so far.

17 Months Old on May 9, 2011

Clothing: You are still wearing 18-24 months clothing, and a few things are size 2T.

Shoes: Still wearing a toddler size 6.  I haven’t had your feet measured again yet but your shoes seem to fit just fine.

Diapers: Size 4 all day and all night.

Teeth count: 4 molars and 8 other front teeth.  You are cutting your bottom right incisor as we speak.

Favorite foods: Happy Tot pouches, veggie sticks, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, chicken, turkey, carrots, grapes, bananas, ice cream…

Favorite toys: Your new Mega Blocks set from Grammy on Easter!  Each morning, you wake up and imediately grab the bag of blocks and drag it to me to open it so you can pour them out and start building.  Smart boy!

You have learned to: Take off your diaper.  You haven’t begun pulling down your pants yet, but if you are pants-less, hang on to your hats because that diaper is coming off.

Words you are saying: New words: Balloon, Moo, quack, baaa (sheep), Boo!, and woof!  (Animal sounds were all the rage this past month!)

Sleeping: Still going to bed at 8 p.m. and waking around 8:00/8:30 a.m.

Naps: Going down around 1:00 p.m. and sleeping until 4:00 or 4:30 p.m.

Accomplishments: You are gaining much more skill with feeding yourself with utensils!  Very proud!

17 month stats: (from sick visit)

Weight: 25 pounds

Height: 32 inches

You are currently fighting a nasty cold that you got when we visited New York City last weekend.  Mommy and Daddy are fighting it off now as well.  😉

Jack loves all water, and carrots, as you can see from his hands

Here are the Baby Center Milestone Stats:

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Uses six words regularly – Yes, absolutely.  He is probably using up to 16 different words a day.
• Enjoys pretend games – He likes to pretend that he is calling someone (usually Daddy or Gidgi) and he likes to mimic what Mommy does.
• Likes riding toys – Since the weather is nice again, we spend much time outside riding on the Kettler trike, the play car, or the dump trucks.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Feeds doll – He doesn’t have a doll, but he does feed Mommy, Daddy or the dogs.
• Speaks more clearly – His annunciation is slowly improving.  Balloon is really sounding like balloon instead of “baaaooonnn.”
• Throws a ball underhand – He usually just throws overhand, and yes, he can kick the ball as well.  Smart kid.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Dances to music – Loves dancing to the Fresh Beat Band and has recently noticed that they use their arms to dance, so instead of just dancing with his trunk, he is also now flailing his arms.  Hysterical.  And yes…I should probably take video to show it to his senior prom date someday…)
• Sorts toys by color, shape, or size – He sorts the blocks and will sometimes just build with blue ones or just put the orange ones together.
• Kicks ball forward – As said before, yes, he is kicking the ball with no issues.

Riding in the car

Looking forward to the next month with you, little dude.  😉

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!!

On Friday night, we went to the local Triple-A Yankees baseball game with a great deal for tickets.

Yankees vs. Red Sox

Jack donned his Yankees outfit and we all took our seats.  He did fairly well up until the 5th inning where he decided that he wanted to run around and only eat the bun from his hot dog (confirmation that there is a little bit of me in that boy).

I only got a few photos between feeding Jack, chasing him and trying to keep my eyes open for foul balls.

It was a great family night out, but I am looking forward to when Jack will appreciate the baseball game instead of trying to capture his attention by counting “One…Two…Three” as the pitcher throws the ball.  🙂

They had a Time Out section of a bounce house, a batting cage and more for the younger kids.  Jack LOVED the bounce house!

Playing in the Yankees bounce house

We left shortly after the bottom of the 7th inning after singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with Daddy

The Yankees beat the Red Sox 10-0.  Just a great family night out.

We <3 New York

I truly consider New York City to be my second home.  The sounds of the city, vibrations of the subway, smells of burnt salt at the pretzel stands and the hustle and bustle are truly something to be experienced.

Standing in front of the New Years Eve ball in Times Square

Since we were young, my mother has been taking us into the city for plays, Broadway shows, shopping and of course, to see the sights, so when we go, we truly feel as if we are coming home again.

We came in this weekend for a visit with my sister, Colleen, the Revlon 5K, and to enjoy the spring weather amidst the fresh grass and new leaves on the trees.

On Friday, we headed to Kenneth Cole’s corporate offices where my sister works for a quick hello and to have a chance to meet her coworkers.  As we suspected, everyone there was so nice and welcoming.  Jack was thrilled to tour the place and made himself right at home.

Jared and Chris at Kenneth Cole

Aunt Colleen and Jack at KC HQ

KC HQ

Afterwards, we went down to the pier to check out the water, submarines and cruise ships followed by a quick cocktail while Jack napped for a bit in the stroller.

Out at the Pier (submarine behind him)

The submarine at the Pier

Yum...an $11 bottle of beer

We took it easy on Friday night in anticipation of the early wake-up call on Saturday morning.  Read all about the Revlon Womentum 5K to eradicate Women’s Cancers here.

After our 5K, we had some brunch and let Jack nap for a while before heading back to SoHo.  Chris met up with friends and headed to the new Yankees stadium to catch the afternoon game for another friend’s 30th birthday.

On a side note, if there were a contest for a free apartment anywhere in Manhattan, I would absolutely choose SoHo, TriBeCa or The Village.  Hands down.  The people, the shops, and the neighborhood feel just bring happiness to my soul.  The little local shops that can sell fun trinkets for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day and the fabulous dining al fresco in Little Italy makes my heart sing.

First cab ride (We usually take the subway)

Following dinner with the best little date that I have ever had, we hit the hay and left that one for the record books.

My date in Little Italy

Since a lot of the weekend for Jack was spent in someone’s arms or strapped in his Maclaren stroller, we decided to take him somewhere that would be an activity just for him.  So, off to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum we went.

Just a fabulous and busy weekend with my sister and with my little family.  Such a beautiful city, and I hope that Jack can one day feel the same love and passion that his mother feels for the city.

Photo taken by Colleen's coworker

And someone had so much fun, that this was the scene in the car seat on the way home.

Passed out on the ride home