Friday, February 29, 2008

Out of commission

It was a little bit of a rough week for me since I had this awful stomach bug and am finally getting back to my normal self. Truly lousy feeling and I don't wish it upon my worst enemy. But I was down at my parents which was such a saving grace that there were plenty of people around to dote on Sofia while her mommy got better. I don't even think she knew I was there half the time with all the attention she was getting from everyone else.

Hugs from Zio Antonio

Kisses from Nonna Lisa and Nonno Nick

Kitchen utensils are toys too

Playing with zio and nonno

Early Easter picture

Happy as a lark

She's definitely Italian

You may think it very stereotypical of me to imply that just because Sofia gets excited about eating and is already motioning with her hands when speaking that she is a product of an Italian family, but in her case it is so true. The second you place her in the high chair and strap on her bib she is giddy with excitement...and no, this isn't because we're not feeding her enough, she just simply enjoys eating. Whether it be cookies and milk, applesauce, bananas, yogurt, pasta, cheese or breads, the little girl loves to chow down.

Lately, she's also begun flinging her hands around when "talking" to us...something I have to say I am very proud of and can't wait for her to be actually speaking Italian and using her hands at the same time!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A little light reading...

This is a guest post from Anthony (a.k.a. Hubby)

Sofia really is a morning person...and a afternoon person and a night person ;-). But recently she has been all about waking up and reading her books. She flops them around and usually picks out The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She loves to turn the pages back and forth but her favorite part is the last page when she sees the beautiful butterfly that the caterpillar becomes. It always brings out a big smile. (Oops, I just gave away the ending, sorry)

I choose this one

Turning the page

Monday, February 25, 2008

You are what you...touch?

I've never really paid too much attention to the ingredients of the daily products I use - facial moisturizer, perfume, hand lotion, dish soap, household cleaners, etc. But now that Sofia is here, crawling all over the house and exploring new things, I've been thinking a lot about the stuff she is and will be exposed to on a daily basis. I don't mind her getting dirty when she eats or if she's outside in the yard, but what I can't get out of my head lately are the other things I have taken for granted...her bath soap, body lotion, baby wipes and what I use to clean the counter tops and floors.

One of the blogs I read regularly, Wise Bread, led me to a very informative site that ranks products in terms of safety as it relates to toxicity levels and animal testing. The Skin Deep Project by the Environmental Working Group allows us to search by brand name and see how our face soaps, sunscreens and baby diaper creams measure up. And this touches only on cosmetics and body products, think about the stuff you clean your bath tub and hardwood floors with and what little hands and feet are coming in contact with and how it affects their skin.

Even though I've never really used a lot of products on my skin, it was still very interesting to check out and for future purchases for us and Sofia. We have just begun using natural cleaning products in the house, so I feel like I'm moving in the right direction.

Lori Gayle and John Reed tie the knot

My friend got married over the weekend and I had the incredible honor of taking pictures for them. Here are just a few from their fabulous day!

Gorgeous bouquet and the rings

The gorgeous bride

Mr. and Mrs. Reed

Mrs. Lori Reed

March 2007 Babies

So, she's definitely not impressed with all this white stuff we have outside, but here's to hoping that changes as she gets older since her mommy and daddy LOVE being out in the snow. How fun would it be to all make snow angels and build a fort together?! She just glanced over the backyard and wanted nothing to do with it. Maybe next year!

But what Sofia was very impressed with yesterday was the playgroup we went to for a birthday celebration of March 2007 babies. 9 moms and 9 crawling babies got together for a great afternoon of food, fun and frolic! I was so happy to get a picture of her in the hat since it stayed on for literally 4 seconds.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Bunny

After receiving a couple inches of snow during the night, I was excited to get Sofia out in it and see what she would do. She definitely wasn't as excited as I was, but she has yet to go through the excitement of not having to go to school due to the weather. I think she'll appreciate it more later on!

Home Sweet Home

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pane e Focaccia = Molto Buono!

I don't want to brag or anything, but I make my own bread AND focaccia. And they're really good too! Ok, so my mom has been telling me to do this for years, way before I was married, but I had to do it in my own time I guess. I wouldn't call myself a regular yet, but I think I'm getting there and Mom, you're right it gets easier and better each time you make it.

2 cups warm water
1 bag Fleischmann's Yeast
All-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Salt
Additional ingredients for focaccia:
Olive Oil
Additional sprinkling of salt

Place the water and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for about 5 minutes. Add flour to water/yeast mixture a little at a time until starts to clump together and get dough-like. (I really don't know how to better explain it) Add the salt. Place flour/water/yeast mixture on table and begin kneading together until soft dough is formed. Sprinkle some flour on a clean dish towel and wrap dough inside. Place this within a couple heavier blankets and let rise for about 2 hours.

After the two hours, I cut the dough in half and place one half back under the blankets for an additional hour. That dough will be used for the bread and the dough I have taken out I will use to make focaccia.

Turn on oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the focaccia dough onto a cookie sheet that has been drizzled with olive oil. Turn focaccia on both sides so that it's coated all over in the olive oil and then spoon some tomatoes over the dough. Sprinkle on some oregano and salt. Place in oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned underneath.

After the bread dough has sat under the blankets for that additional hour, take out and place directly on pizza stone or on a cookie sheet. Run a knife down the middle of the dough and place in oven for about 30 minutes or until appears brown.

Mom, did I leave anything out?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hanging out with Scott & Chaela

Scott and Chaela spent the night and morning with us and Sofia loved the extra attention. Even with Zio Scott teasing her with her favorite duck toy, she still gives you a huge smile each time you say "Scott" around her!

Trip to Zia Rosina's

Yesterday we drove up to Boonton, New Jersey to visit Anthony's Zia Rosina and his cousins. His zia has been in the hospital, but is doing much better and will hopefully be going home soon. We spent a very nice lunch together with everyone and we were very happy to see zia in good spirits. Please keep them all in your prayers, Zia Rosina for a quick recovery and all the cousins for their constant support to their mom and nonna.

Ready for a little road trip

Sofia and cousin Armand

Joe, Olivia, Sofia, Lisa, Gina and Armand

Joe entertaining Sofia and Olivia

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love is a many splendid thing

In honor of Saint Valentine, Patron of Love, Sofia and I went around our home and took some pictures of one of the most widely used symbols of love, the heart, il cuore.

My mom bought be this right after Anthony & I got married

I love Thun - check out the site - I started collecting them 4 years ago

Empty cake pan

Yummy heart-shaped brownie for Anthony

Tiles in our kitchen

A frame

A wedding shower gift - notice there are no candies inside

An ornament I bought 2 years ago after Valentine's Day

From our 1st Anniversary in Las Vegas

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

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