Thursday, December 31, 2009

Having Fun with Friends

Anthony has had the opportunity to spend time with quite a few of his friends lately. Here are some cute photos of him hanging out with everyone...

Friend Audrey--He loved riding her car...I guess he wouldn't let her drive!!!

Audrey and Anthony practicing the alphabet together

Anthony decked out in Audrey's pink sunglasses, pushing the pink baby stroller with Baby Elmo inside...too funny!!!

Friend Kayden--Anthony makes himself right at home with her toys!

Just chillin' with Kayden

Friend Michael--They are both little hams!

At least they kept each other entertained!!!

Wearing Mommy's Shoes

Anthony has a thing for wearing my shoes these days...these are the clogs that I wear to work. His other favorites are my black patent flats and my black fuzzy slippers.

Anthony Moves to a Big Boy Bed!!!

We decided to transition Anthony to his "big boy" bed a few weeks ago. We just wanted to make sure he was well-adjusted with that big change before he has to adjust to having a little brother (and Mommy's divided attention)!!! As of right now, we plan to have the boys share a room. Lucas will be in the cradle in our room until he's sleeping through the night. And we don't really plan on napping them together at first either...Lucas will probably take his naps in the cradle in the beginning, and then in the pack n play in our closet for awhile. Anyway, it may work really well, and then again, the plans may fall apart. We figure we can always rearrange the furniture again if we need to. But this way, Mario won't have to give up his "office" which is located in our guest room, and our guests can still have some privacy when they come and visit.

Anthony played a little trick on us and did amazingly well his first night in his bed. He went right to sleep, slept through the night, and waited for me to come and get him the next morning!!! We were sure we had a child prodigy on our hands!!! What a piece of cake this transition stuff is, right?!? Well, for the next few nights, we had some "middle of the night awakenings" with Anthony getting out of his bed and searching and crying for us...we left the door cracked for him. (I feel safer knowing he CAN get out if he ever needs to come get me for anything.) That tapered off pretty quickly, but then we entered the phase of resisting naps in his bed. He'd do everything but go to sleep! First, he just came out of his room looking for me. Then when he realized my persistence in taking him back to his bed, he got smart and only came to the door. He'd peek out for awhile, and then he'd open it a little wider and push on it so it would bang and make some noise and get mommy's attention!!! When he realized I would still come and put him back in his bed, he even got a little smarter and began playing quietly with his toys or dragging stuff out of his drawers!!! It was alot of trial and error (maybe more error than trial) on my part, and it did require some disciplinary action at times for disobedience, but we eventually found a plan that worked!!! About one and a half weeks after we started the process, he was doing great!!! Now, we read him a couple of stories before naptime, or we do his regular bedtime routine before bedtime. He goes to bed when it's time, stays there all night (or nap), and doesn't get out of bed until Mommy or Daddy comes in and says it's time to get up!!! WOW!!! We love this kid! Some days it took alot out of me, but the consistency is so worth it in the end! Occasionally I'll find him "reading" some books in his bed when I come to get him after naptime is over, but I don't really mind (even though he definitely had to get out of bed to get the books off the bookshelf!). He just takes them back to his bed to read, and he's usually so quiet that I don't even know he's awake.

"Getting ready for my first night in my big-boy bed!!!"

"As long as I've got Bunny, I'll be just fine!"

I'm glad the cute comforter that came with the nursery bedding set is finally being put to good use (instead of just being for decoration!!!)

Some views of the room...
This view looks a little dorm-roomish

Crib and changing table/dresser

Just to give some more perspective

One of his first nights he stayed in his bed without getting up to search for us!
Mommy is so proud!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Making a Masterpiece

My sweetie pie's artistic side...

I let Anthony "paint" with some leftover glaze I was using to make Christmas cookies!!!

It was a sugary sticky mess to clean up, but it was so much fun!!!

(and it kept him occupied for a little while!!!)

Anthony Loves his Leaves

Last month our front yard was one big "leaf blanket"!!! We spent several hours raking, trimming trees, and tending to the "mess" that has been our front lawn, all the while adding a few Christmas touches! Anthony sure had a blast playing in the piles!!!

" Yes, I know I'm cute!"

"Ahhhh! No, Daddy! Not more leaves!!!"

Oh, to be a kid again!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Fort Worth Getaway

Right after Thanksgiving Mario and I went on a one-night getaway over to Ft. Worth--our first visit to the town. We were so blessed that Mario won a sales contest at work. The majority of our dinner and hotel were covered by giftcards that he received as a result of winning! Yay!!! I'm so proud to have a husband who is so good at his job! We dropped off Anthony at a friend's house, and drove away to have one last hoorah before this baby gets here! It was a fun time to be in the city because they were having plenty of Christmas festivities to get the holidays started. We stayed in a very nice luxury hotel called the Ashton. Here are some pics of the room.

The linens were super-comfy...I think they were imported from Europe!

Separate bathroom with cobalt blue tile and pedestal sink

Sitting area/Work area...Even had a docking station with speakers for your ipod--too bad we didn't bring our ipod!!!

Craziest thing we saw in Ft. Worth--A man walking a dog with a cat riding on the dog's back and a mouse riding on the cat's back!!!

In front of the big Christmas tree in Sundance Square

The Christmas parade that evening with over 100 floats! Compared with our McKinney 4th of July parade, it was in a whole different league!!! They had lots of lights, music, and unique "floats" such as unicyclists and people riding on horseback standing up! Fun to watch!!!

Right after we finished eating at Del Frisco's--Mario and I agree it is the best restaurant we've ever been to. The food was delicious, the service was impeccable, and we even received a thank you note from them upon returning home stating best wishes on the upcoming birth! I guess they took notes!!!

Outside our hotel all lit up

Front of our hotel

Mario holding his "Voss" water we found in our room.
When we came back in from dinner, our linens had been turned down and there were homemade chocolate chip cookies waiting for us!

The next morning before we left, we went out to the Ft. Worth Stockyards that we've heard so much about. It's like stepping into an old fashioned western town, complete with steers you can pose on for a "small" fee, a cattle drive, a vintage railroad, a cattlepen maze, and plenty of museums, eating places, and western shops.

Me in front of the ginormous Christmas tree

We thought this was hilarious...some forlorn guy sitting all alone above a restaurant called the Love Shack!!!

Here's a view of the streets in the stockyards

Cowboy Mario in front of the "Stampede Room"
What a fun trip! Might be our last for a little while!!!

Thanksgiving Jive

Just a little Thanksgiving dancing to the Charlie Brown theme song to give you a good laugh and brighten your holidays! Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Humble Thanksgiving

Due to a last minute change of plans, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our new home with just the three of us! It was a little quiet, but it turned out quite nicely. We relaxed all day, and I cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner on my own for the first time! This gave me the opportunity to try out some new recipes. The turkey turned out awesome!!! It looked and tasted great! It was Giada's "citrus" version from "Everyday Italian" and was stuffed with orange and lemon slices...It's definitely a keeper. In keeping with that theme I tried a new sweet potato recipe from my Cuisine magazine. You bake the sweet potatoes, then hollow out some oranges, and mix the sweet potato puree with some orange juice, fresh pineapple, and a few other things. Stuff it all back into the oranges, then you bake them and candy some pecans for the topping! They were delicious!!! Yum...I'll definitely be doing those again! I tried a fruit salad with some fresh cranberries that turned out WAY too tart--even with the added sugar!!! Neither me nor Anthony will ever turn down any fruit, but WE couldn't even eat much of it!!! We ended up having to throw most of it out!!! Won't be making that one again! We also had some home made yeast rolls, some lima beans, and for dessert, of course a home made pumpkin pie! For some reason, the filling took FOREVER to set, so by the time it was ready, the crust was a little chewy. It tasted amazing with the home made whip cream, and the crust was flaky, but the texture just made you want to scrape off the filling and leave the crust on your plate! Bummer, because usually the crust is the best part!!! I tried a crust from one recipe and the filling from a different one, so I'm thinking maybe the two just weren't compatible? I'll try again, as it was my first time making pie crust from scratch! Let me know if anyone has a good but easy recipe for home made pumpkin pie.

Here's Anthony at lunch time chowing down on some toasted bread with a veggie spread! Can you tell he enjoyed it?

Here's our Thanksgiving dinner...wish I had taken some close up pics of the food so you all could see my handiwork! But we were starving, so I'm sure that's why we didn't!!!

Anyway, hope the rest of you had a Happy Thanksgiving as well!!!

Anthony Helps with Yardwork

We were doing a little yardwork a few weeks ago...raking leaves and trimming the trees. As you can see below, Anthony was a very big helper with the rake!

Believe me, I plan to take full advantage of his helpful spirit once Lucas gets here!!!

I'm Cool!

Just chillin' wit my homie Bear-Bear

Oh Yeah!
Momma's shades are da bomb!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cousins Playing Together

Anthony had fun "showing James the ropes" regarding all the toys on his exersaucer.

Note the look of concern on James' face!

Okay, that's the look of full-blown panic--"Stop, Anthony! You're going to break it!"
(He was being a little rough with it!)

I just love how sweet these boys play together!

Here's a quick movie of Anthony playing on James' swingset...I think he liked it!

Anthony's First Trip to the Zoo

Well, Anthony and I ventured off to Memphis on our own in early November. We flew one way on Southwest Airlines. Mario had to work during the week and had a friend's wedding he was a groomsman in over the weekend up in North Carolina, so we decided it was a good time for me and Anthony to visit my family, and he could pick us up on the way home. Of course, I was a little daunted by the task before me...navigating an airport while being about 8 months pregnant with an active toddler in tow. All in all, the trip went very smoothly. Anthony did excellent both in the airport and on the plane (we made sure we had lots of snacks!). We did use a "backpack" Anthony received from his MeMe. It came in very handy. It is a bear that straps on his back, and this bear has a loooooong tail that Mommy can hold onto. Anthony is very obedient, and I don't think he would have run off. However, while being pregnant and having my hands full of luggage at times, the bear backpack definitely provided some peace of mind!!! We also used the backpack during our trip to the zoo (see pics below). We went to the zoo the next morning after we arrived...It was Anthony's first time. Our little bear backpack came in handy once again, as Anthony had some freedom to roam around while remaining within reach!

Anthony watching the planes and trucks before we boarded the plane

Anthony and MeMe

Anthony LOVES animals...he's watching the monkeys swing

I think Anthony enjoyed watching the waterfalls and kicking the dried leaves just as much as he enjoyed seeing the animals!!!

My nephew James enjoyed watching the waterfalls too!

Anthony and MeMe watching more monkeys

Anthony and Mommy saying hi to the giraffes

You can't really tell, but Anthony is sitting on a big rock watching the huge iguana through the glass

Oh, THERE'S the iguana!!!

Anthony and Mommy...my sweet boy!
We enjoyed the indoor area with the reptiles because it was so warm...even the rock was warm.
Outside was getting awful chilly!
Cute smile from my nephew James

Anthony and MeMe both loved the penguins

The only animal I think he would've enjoyed that he didn't get to see is the elephant. He was already inside eating his dinner! Oh well! We have something to look forward to on the next trip!

Sisters Melanie and Mandy
Cousins Anthony and James
We had fun!!!
We'll have to come back when the weather warms up!!!