Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brain Games




Monday, March 30, 2009

24 Months Old



As you may be aware, when Sofia was born we decided that every month on the date of her birth we would take a picture of her with some object to track her growth progress. We decided on this stuffed animal dog that Anthony bought for me when we were pregnant. Each month on the 29th we've taken her photo with the dog and have tried to be consistent with making sure she's in the same position each time. It's been fun going back and looking through all the pictures and seeing just how much she's changed month to month.

We're going to stop the monthly pictures at this point, 24 months and 24 pictures in, and take them every 6 months now. I am sure the changes we will be seeing every 6 months are going to be incredible and we look forward to continuing to share them with anyone that's interested. To check out her progress so far,view the album here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Sofia!

Yesterday we celebrated Sofia's 2nd birthday, which is actually today, and we had the best time. Our little lovebug is very blessed to have been surrounded by people who love her very much. Of course, there was plenty of food and fun to be had all day long! Here are just a few pictures from our little lady's birthday party:

Taking a sneak peek at her gifts


Relaxing with Zio Antonio


Playing "shy-guy" while being sung 'Buon Compleanno!'


Group effort in blowing out the candle


Anthony hanging out with his godson, Simon


Mommy & Daddy kisses on her big day!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ladybug Cake and Cupcakes

For Sofia's 2nd Birthday Party, I made a Ladybug Cake and Cupcakes and if I do say so myself, they came out pretty cute!





I baked the cake using a Pyrex Bowl and it was easier than I thought it would be. Make sure to grease the inside really well, I used butter, and then dust a light coating of flour all around as well. I poured about 3/4 of the cake batter into the bowl and baked it at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 20 min. After an hour, I checked it every 10 minutes with a cake tester to make sure it was completely cooked through.

A lot of red food coloring went into the vanilla frosting that I used to make it the red-ish/pink you see in the pictures. And then I used a tube of black chocolate frosting for the lines and the "face" of the ladybug. Since Oreo cookies are a common staple in our pantry, I decided to use those as the dots on the cake and just used chocolate chips for the cupcakes.

Sofia loved it - when she saw the finished products she said "that's so cute!"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ladybug Birthday Party


I am in full party-planning-mode for Sofia's upcoming 2nd birthday celebration this weekend and am having such fun with it all. Themes are fun for parties and while I don't do themes all the time, it's different when you're planning a party for your little girl.

Ladybugs have always been a favorite of mine and seems that Sofia has taking a liking to them as well...like mother, like daughter! I don't want to go crazy, but I definitely want to give the ladybug-ish feel for Sofia at her party.

So far, this is what I have planned:

- her invitations started it off with a tiny little ladybug stamp
- I'm baking a ladybug cake for Sofia (we'll see how well it turns out)
- baking ladybug cupcakes for the guests (again, who knows how that will go)
- I bought some red streamers and black construction paper from the dollar store and made my own ladybug streamer paper
- bought some ladybug garden wind spinners at Michael's in their $1 bins as favors and made a centerpiece out of them
- ordered red and black balloons for around the house


Think I'm taking it too far? I'm so excited that I don't really care anyway, it's so much fun to plan for my little lady! Stay tuned for after party pictures to see how my little projects turned out!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Love Thursday!

What can I say...the girl LOVES jewelry!

Taking a break from playing



to watch some Sesame Street. I don't even think she realized that I was hovering over her with the camera, she was so captivated by Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Green Cleaning

Call it a major case of nesting or spring cleaning gearing into overdrive, but I have had the urge to clean or organize everything in sight for the past couple of months. Don't get me wrong, I've always tried to maintain a clean house, but now I'm trying to stick to a cleaning schedule so that in the long run it makes the whole process more efficient.

I decided I needed a cleaning schedule now with baby #2 on the way and things only naturally going to get more hectic. Although I've never been one to wait until the last minute to clean, I figure it can only benefit me and not feel overwhelmed if things seem to be piling up. I came across this article that I thought was a good starting point for me. I'm sure to make some modifications to it as I go along and see what works and what doesn't.

And, of course, having a toddler at home has made me research greener ways to clean. Below are three of my favorite "green" products and all have proven to hold their own:

Greenworks


Seventh Generation


Old faithful, Baking Soda

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Making the most out of what we get

This past weekend we tried to make the most out of the sunshine and warm weather by spending time outdoors. Sofia loves to be outside and regardless of whether we're just sitting on the porch, taking a walk or playing in the yard, she is one happy little lady.

Spring is definitely taking it's time to arrive and I realized that I can't wait for Spring to get here, I have to just get out and deal with whatever weather we're given. Especially since we've had a cold winter and I suppose it's that we've been cooped up for a couple of months that I just don't care that it's not an ideal spring-like day. So it's March and we've still had to wear our heavy jackets...who cares, get it on and let's go!! You can always come back home to chamomile tea or hot chocolate, right?

Taking a walk in the neighborhood


Playing on her favorite swing at the park


Just happy to be here!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Snug as a bug



Anthony piled on a bunch of her stuffed animals while she was seated in the armchair and she loved it. Actually sat with them like that for 15 minutes before moving a muscle! My little bug!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Baby Numero 2's closeup

My latest pre-natal visit was last week along with another ultrasound appt. Since Sofia was breech and running low on fluid at 38 weeks, they will be monitoring my fluid levels as we get closer to the delivery date, which means more up close and personal shots of the baby. Baby Numero 2 is doing well and moved around a lot for both the ultrasound and the pre-natal visit. For those of you that might be interested, the heart rate was in the 140's which is where it has been the majority of my pregnancy. Sofia's heart rate was always in the 150's and 160's...hmmm, will the wives' tale hold true for me if this baby is a little bambino?!?

Anthony came with me and was able to get another look at his squirmy son or daughter that has been kicking me in the ribs and rolling all around. While the technician was viewing the baby he/she did a full roll and kick. If this baby kicks a soccer ball as well as it's been kicking my sides, we may be looking at the future Mia Hamm or Roberto Baggio.


The 4-D shot that is now a regular part of the ultrasound check


View of the baby's profile

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First 2009 trip to Linvilla

Despite a chilly first day of Spring, Sofia and I donned our heavy coats and headed out to Linvilla Orchards Playground. Our scheduled playgroup was going to meet there and canceled in the morning due to the cold weather, but we (I) decided to brave Mother Nature anyway.

Although we had been to Linvilla Orchards many times, we had never visited their playground and MAN, was it impressive. There were at least 10 different jungle gym type contraptions and each was more fun than the first. Sofia was a little disappointed that there weren't any swings to be found, but the gigantic chicken coop set up right inside the playground greatly made up for it.
















Thursday, March 19, 2009

Zeppole di San Giuseppe

In honor of today being Italian Father's Day, below is a recipe common for many Italians on this day.

Zeppole di San Giuseppe
(St. Joseph's Day pastry)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup water
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs


Directions:

1. Combine water and butter in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil.

2. Add flour and salt at once, stirring swiftly over medium high heat until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a smooth ball.

3. Remove from heat and cook 4-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition; then beat until dough is smooth.

4. Drop cream puff pastry into 8 equal mounds 3 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool. Cut off top and spoon out soft dough. Fill with filling of your choice - pudding or ice cream are a favorite of mine.

Buona Festa del Papa'!!!

Happy Love Thursday!



Someone besides mommy is excited that tomorrow is the first day of Spring!!! My little lovebug is loving this weather and being outdoors!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fun in the sun

Yesterday morning the sun finally peeked out from behind the gray clouds we've been subjected to and so we jumped at the chance to be outdoors. Sofia and I took a long walk in the morning with a stop at our neighborhood park. She had a great time on the walk, stopping to talk to the squirrels and cats and picking at the blooming crocus. We even had the park to ourselves and she stayed on the swings forever, much to her excitement!

Her trusty companion for our walk




The pretty little bloom even got to ride the swing with her



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daddy's Little Girl

Happy St. Patrick's Day!




Irish Blessing

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Irish or not, are you wearing your green today?!?

Monday, March 16, 2009

So far, so good





I may be counting my chickies before they're hatched, but so far night 3 in the new room has gone well with Sofia. We think she's enjoying the extra room and the independence of getting up and down when she wants to. We do have a gate on her door to prevent her from actually leaving the room in the middle of the night or her nap time, but I don't think she seems to mind...yet.

Don't you think she looks quite comfy in her room?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Daddy love

30 weeks!



I posted this picture on my other blog, but thought I would show it off here as well. We have not been as diligent with taking pictures of my ever-expanding waistline as we were with Sofia, so for the remainder I am going to try to be better. Since I will be having a repeat c-section, we have already scheduled the delivery date to be Friday, May 15th which right now puts me at 9 weeks to go. Of course, this is taking into consideration that everything goes to plan and I don't go into labor before then. We don't know the gender of the baby, so we're going to need to be ready with both a girl and boy's name. The boy's name is pretty much set in stone, but we can not agree on a girl's name that we both love. Sofia wasn't named for her first 24 hours so that just may be the case with this baby too if we end up having another girl.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Our little girl is all growns up!

For the past couple months we have been turning our guest bedroom into Sofia's big girl room and prepping her for the big move from crib to bed. This past week we went into overdrive to get everything done that we needed to for the move to happen last night. I finished up the valances for her two windows, electrical work was complete, bed made, and clothes, dolls and books moved. During this whole process, Sofia was right there in the middle "helping" us. She brought over her favorite books and dolls, pointed out the spots Anthony missed when he was vacuuming the room, and assisted in making the bed by jumping on the pillows a thousand times to make sure they were durable.

Anthony typically handles the bedtime routine with Sofia, but last night we both took her up to read books and kiss her goodnight together on the first night in her big girl bed and room. When we said goodnight, she did ask "I go in crib" to which we replied that she was a big girl now and gets to sleep in the big girl bed. She laid down and after a little bit of consoling, she was fine. Of course, we watched on the monitor as she flopped around with her dolls and flipped through her books...all on the bed though, never once getting down. This morning when I went up to get her, she was waiting at the door and as soon as she saw me she says "Hi mommy!" I was through the roof ecstatic that her first night went so great!


Reading with Daddy before sleeping in her big girl bed for the very first time

Friday, March 13, 2009

This bud's for you!



And for everyone else as ready for Spring as I am!!! We've had a couple of teasing days with warm sun and clear skies and I really hope winter is behind us all. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to be outdoors, firing up the BBQ and packing away my winter clothes. Here's to warmer days ahead!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My little lovebug



I can not get over the fact that Sofia will be two in just a couple more weeks. Where has the time gone?!? She just keeps getting cuter and more grown-up by the day and each day brings something new...whether it's a new word, a new facial expression or a new favorite book. It's all so incredible and makes me always look forward to a new day with my little lovebug.

Happy Love Thursday!

Everyone spoils, I mean, LOVES Sofia!



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nonna Lisa's little helper

Sofia and I went down to MD for a couple days and spent some time with my family. Monday was a gorgeous day and Sofia was outside as much as possible soaking in the warmth. She even helped Nonna Lisa with some yard work. Hopefully she's just as much of a helper to her daddy when he begins doing yard work this spring!

Getting ready to help Nonna Lisa work in the yard


Supervising


Taking a much-deserved break from helping outside


Collecting sticks


What a good girl!

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