Wednesday, December 23, 2009

almost here

I can't believe it. It just doesn't seem possible. I don't know when it will hit me that tomorrow the holidays start, but right now I still can't believe it.

I'm surprisingly stress free. I hesitate to say it and jinx myself, but there it is. The holidays this year have been a breeze compared to last year. Last year we were still adjusting to being new parents. It felt like from the moment we landed at Newark on Oct. 1st until after the New Year we were constantly going and just trying to fit everything in.

This year feels so different. We've been busy, but a good and fun busy. We've done all of the fun holiday things we love to do. It hasn't been rushed or crazy. We were able to sit back and enjoy it. Maybe that's why it doesn't really feel like Christmas to me? No stress.

Oliver is very excited for Christmas. He wants the hungry hungry hippo game. He sat on Santa's lap over a week ago. When santa asked him what he wanted Anthony told him that game because he knew we bought it for him. Now every day when Oliver wakes up he asks if the hippos are here yet. I almost caved last night when he said "why no hippos yet?"

Nothing to do with the holidays, but to do with what Oliver says in the morning. When I get him up I ask how he slept and how he's doing. For awhile now he'll ask how I am doing and when he sees one of the cats he'll say "good morning Sadie. How are you?" This week when I asked him how he is doing he's been saying "two". He is confusing it with how old are you and it makes me laugh.

I'm trying to remember these little things because the other day when he asked for his toothbrush I remembered when he didn't know the word for toothbrush. What he use todo when he didn't know the word for something he would call it duck. It got a little annoying and kind of strange. It made me think that I need to start writing some of these little things down because time is clearly just flying by.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and very Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

holidays

Mae and Joe came for a visit for Oliver's birthday and for Mae's birthday. One day we went into the city to see the tree and go to all of the shops. Everything looked so pretty. It was so cold. Joe and Anthony forgot to bring hats. Or more like they didn't think they would need them so they didn't bring them. But they were freezing. After some great bargaining by Joe they both got some warm hats. We had a fun day and it really got us excited for the holidays.

Oliver and I were working on Christmas shopping today. We went to a bunch of stores. At one point we were trying to walk quickly back to our car, but no one was letting us cross the street. We started to go and this woman came speeding past us. I was annoyed because not only did she not let us cross but she was really close. So I yelled "thanks lady" to which Oliver yelled "your welcome lady". He is such a funny silly boy. We love him so much.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oliver is two

Actually he turned two over a week ago. I had wanted to write something on Dec. 6th, but I was too busy. This is a crazy time of year. A good crazy. We went from Thanksgiving, Oliver's birthday, and now Christmas.

We put up the Christmas tree this weekend. He kept saying "I like that Mommy". We put popcorn strings on the tree. He recently had popcorn at the movies and he loved it. You can imagine what happened. We should have figured it out, but no we didn't. All of a sudden he was spitting a bunch of food out. I saw that it was popcorn and asked him where he got it. Of course he said "I don't know". We had to have a long conversation about the popcorn on the tree being different from the popcorn we eat out of the bag. He was really funny about it. He would say "popcorns. same thing. no. tree. yucky."

We are looking forward to seeing lots of friends and family over the next two weeks. I love this time of year. I don't even mind the craziness of the mall. Although this is the first time I have experienced toys r us at the holidays. It was nuts. In the first five minutes a woman with a cart overflowing who couldn't see where she was going hit me and another woman took my cart with my pocketbook in it while my back was turned. Cut throat.

I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking. I made an incredible chocolate cake that was so easy and the recipe recommends making it ahead of time and freezing it. I'll have to post that.

I hope everyone is having a fun holiday season.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


pictures




a much better week

It's Tuesday night and so far the big news of the week is this:

Anthony is away until Saturday on a work trip. Oliver is sick. Not seriously sick. Just a icky running nose and nasty cough. Oliver is a big fan of the, I'm not sure of the name of it, but I've been calling it the boogie sucker. The first thing he said to Anthony on the phone tonight was "no boogies". He is sneezing all of the time. Now after he sneezes once he'll say "bless you Ollie again".

We have been laying low. Not doing any of our usual fun things which is such a shame because the weather has been unseasonably warm.

Oliver hasn't been himself since he's been sick. He's been fussy and not happy. But Oliver can get away with murder because he has the cutest sick voice. It's a cross between Lindsay Lohan and Elmo.

We had a great weekend. We took a rode trip to Baltimore. We were there for our friends, Mike and Amanda's, party to celebrate their wedding. They got married in September in Boulder. Unfortunately we didn't make it to Boulder. I'm so glad we got to go to this party. It was a great time. Oliver loved the party and loved being away. We went to the aquarium which was amazing. He loved all of the animals. Especially the turtles. Anthony and I love taking road trips. We've hardly taken any since we've brought Oliver home. There is no reason for us not to do it again. He was so easy. He loved the hotel. He loved seeing all of the new people. After the holidays we'll have to go somewhere again. Speaking of the holidays, I can't believe how soon the holidays are going to be here. I'm not ready at all. I have so many things planned in my head. I hope I can get to half of them.

I've been cooking a lot too. A lot of homey fall weather food. I made the most unbelievable chicken pot pie. When I get the chance I'll post the recipe.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oliver's Halloween morning show

I'm so bad with the computer. I can't figure out how to put the video or even the link on the blog. Sorry you'll have to do it the old fashion way and cut and paste this web address.

www.wpix.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=db56539b-91b0-46b8-bb14-f5bd49435cc1&src=front


If anyone has any advice or tips on how to make my blogging life better I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

one of those days

I'm definitely one of those people whose mood is effected or is it affected by the weather. Fall is finally really here. I like this time of the year because the holidays are so close, but I love the warm long days of summer. I'm feeling sad today and the weather really has little to do with it.

We got really terrible news of a friend's father who passed away today from a long battle with cancer. I'm sad for my friend and her family who have had a really hard past couple of years. Selfishly I'm sad for myself because I really should have been a better friend. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the little things in your life. There always seems like there is going to be more time.

Anyway, it doesn't seem fair to go from that heavy topic to the light and lovely topic of Oliver, but so be it. Oliver had a great halloween. We had a halloween party. We made too much food, but it was yummy. The kids were adorable. Oliver loved trick or treating. After the second house he turned to me and said "more shopping mommy". Too cute. He was a very reluctant dragon. He didn't love being dressed up or having something on his head. He would only really have it on his head when he was distracted with something else. He actually got to be on a local morning show when they did a segment on kids costumes. He hated wearing that costume which was Frankenstein. They only way we got him to do that was through bribery. There is a clip of it and I'll have to figure out how to post it. It's funny because he doesn't stay still. For the whole segment you can see his Frankenstein head poking around.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

barefoot bloggers

I actually made and ate the chowder on Thursday. I just didn't have time to take a picture or post anything. It turned out to be a long day. Oliver didn't nap at all. I guess I jinxed us. He called me into his room about 45 minutes into his nap ( he usually sleeps 2 1/2-3 hrs). He was saying "mess mess". I was looking at him and I couldn't figure out what he was talking about. I finally looked down and noticed he didn't have his pants or diaper on. That's when it hit me that he peed in the bed. Ugh. Why are crib mattresses so hard to change? So no nap that day.



He was saying mess in this picture.



The chowder was pretty good. It isn't a thick chowder at all. Maybe that's how they like it in the Hamptons. I like a thicker chowder. I made a lot of changes to the recipe. I decided to make crab corn chowder. I halved it because it was huge. I left out the potatoes because I knew I would end up freezing it and potatoes just don't freeze right. I subbed 1 cup of clam juice for 1 cup chicken stock. I added a chopped pepper and used less bacon because I didn't want to overwhelm the crab. I think you can leave it out altogether. The same for the cheddar cheese. I meant to add fresh cilantro, but completely forgot.

It was a good easy recipe. It was fun one for my first barefoot blogger challenger. Thanks Jill of My Next Life www.jillbuker.blogspot.com for choosing the recipe.




The next recipe is a souffle. I've always wanted to make one so I'm excited. Does anyone know if I need a special souffle dish?

Oh my gob I made a whoppie pie

Whoppie pies are the new big thing around here. It's kind of like the new cupcake except the cupcake will never go away so maybe it's the new beef cheek. Oliver and I had them at a fall festival the other day. They weren't nearly as good the ones I had growing up. Oliver loved them so I decided to make them. My Aunt in Johnston, PA is the queen of the whoppie pie except we call the go's. I'm not really sure why. I think I read somewhere that it looks like a gob of coal. Neither name is that great, but they taste so good.

I've tried making them several times over the years and they never came out. This was the best batch yet. Not saying much since the others were inedible. But this were really good. The key is crisco. I know you'll be tempted to change it to butter, but don't. I've done that and it just tastes wrong. There must be something in the crisco that makes them taste right.




This recipe from Aunt Katie makes 20 Gobs.

My gobs can out a little too big. I think I would make them smaller. I also burnt one whole tray. They do spread during cooking. I also added a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to the icing because it didn't taste sweet enough. Speaking of the icing. I didn't think it made enough. Since I only got 13 Gobs it was enough, but I think it could/should be increased.
Pre-heat oven to 350.

Cakes:

Cream 2 cups sugar and 1/2 c. crisco

Mix together with a whisk 4 cups flour, 1 cup cocoa unsweetened, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt.

Add 2 eggs to sugar mixture. Mix. Add flour mixture and mix. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup buttermilk, and 1 cup boiling water.

Put about 1 tsp sized cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure you have enough tops and bottoms. Bake 8 minutes. You want them firm not soft.

Frosting:

Heat 1 cup milk until warm. Add 5 tbs. flour. Mix until thick. Try to get out lumps. Let mixture cool. Beat 1 cup crisco, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 1/4 c. powdered sugar together. Add cooled mixture. Beat until smooth. You can put mixture through a strainer. I didn't.

Once tops and bottoms are cooled ice. They last a couple of days in the fridge and freeze very well.

Enjoy

Thursday, October 8, 2009

better

We are all finally better. Oliver ended up having my bronchitis. He really had a hard time with it. He was waking up all night coughing. We've been so lucky with his sleep. I give those families so much credit that have kids who don't sleep. It sucks. It was so hard to function the next day. It only lasted three days, but it was hard. We are all better now. It is great to be able to get out of the house and do all the fun things we normally do or just run to the supermarket for food.

Speaking of food. In an effort to come up with some new things to cook I joined a cooking group. Barefoot bloggers. www.barefootbloggers.wordpress.com

Twice a month they make a recipe out of one of Ina Garten's cookbooks. Today my first recipe is due. It's corn chowder. I had grand plans of making it earlier in the week so I could blog about it first thing this morning. Of course that didn't happen. My chowder is on the stove cooking away as I write. I'm loosely following the recipe. We'll see how it goes. I'll post pictures later. I haven't taken any pictures of Oliver in two weeks now. Maybe I'll get a picture of him eating the chowder. Yeah right. He may be a good sleeper, but not so much of an eatter.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sick

Everyone in our house is sick. I'm getting over brochitis. Anthony and Oliver have bad colds with high fevers. Oliver has been running a 103 fever on and off since yesterday. It just breaks your heart to see him like this. He is so sad. He keeps saying "help mama help" and "done done". After he coughs he points to his throat saying "ouchie". Poor thing. I hope it doesn't last another day.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

recharged

I didn't realize it, but I was completely burnt out before our vacation. I know this is dumb and obnoxious, but I didn't think I could get burnt out as a stay at home Mom. I know I work really hard. I also know that if it's gross outside I can stay in my pajamas all day. I guess part of me thought if I didn't have to put work clothes on I had less of a job here at home.

I realized this with a conversation with someone in Belgium. I thought there english was just bad and I was misunderstanding them when they asked if I worked at home. I thought they meant I had a home office. I kept saying that I use to work as a lawyer, but now I'm home with Oliver. She kept saying so you work at home. I finally realized what she meant and it all kind of hit me that I needed a break.

I was stretched a little thin this summer. It was all good things, but we were so busy. I feel like I was a bad friend, wife, mom, relative. Not the worse, but I could have been better. The summer flew by and I don't want the fall to be the same.

Taking a break from everything has made me excited to me home and to get back into the swing of things. I'm really in the mood to start cooking and baking. The markets in Europe are so much better than here. Why can't we get amazing cheese and meat? If I was a real go getter I would open up an amazing store. But I'm still me.

The pastries in Paris were incredible. There are a whole bunch of new things that I want to try to make. The first is orangettes. They are chocolate covered orange peels. I think I could make them and they would be nice for Christmas.

I know what you are thinking. Christmas. She is being way too ambitious. But you are wrong. Whether I was recharged or not I would be thinking of Christmas now. It's labor day weekend so Christmas is around the corner.

home

We are back home. Our trip was so great and it went so fast. It feels like we just left.

Oliver did so great. He liked traveling. He enjoying going down to the lobby and getting all kinds of attention from the hotel staff. I think he thought we were living in the hotel. When we would be leaving a restaurant he would start saying "hotel hotel". On the way home yesterday we told him we were going home. In the airport I asked him where we were going and he said "hotel". But now he's happy to be home and playing with his toys. He's asking for the cats too.

I could completely see how he could pick up the language if we were staying there longer. He was trying to say everything. He picked up a couple of words. He is talking up a storm. Stringing all kinds of sentences together. It's great, but he doesn't stop talking. He is always babbling something. Yesterday we were all exhausted, but he was still talking and talking away. It's funny to really see his personality. He is so not a baby anymore in good and bad ways. Mostly good. I think.

The trip was so fantastic. I had a great time everywhere we went. I really loved Paris. It was cool to be somewhere that I had been as kid and be there now as an adult. I know Anthony felt the same way about Paris, but especially about Belgium.

One downer of the trip, but in the end no big deal was that Oliver had his second visit to the hospital. Our first day in Belgium he fell off the top of a slide and cut his head so we went to the emergency room. Thank god for our family. They handled everything. I don't even know how Anthony and I would have found the hospital.

It ended up being a funny story because when we got to the hospital Emmanuel told them that Oliver was his son Hugo. No big deal right? Emmanuel has a son Hugo. He did it because they have socialized medicine and he figured it would be easier. He also said I was his wife and that Oliver was almost 4 years old. The real Hugo was there, but had to be taken to another room because everyone was afraid that he would tell that he was actually Hugo.

Oliver didn't even need a stitch. They did that glue thing. When the doctor came in speaking French to all of us I just looked at Emmanuel. He handled it all. The doctor kept asking both of us how old Oliver was. Emmanuel told him almost 4. The doctor said he was very small for his age. I wanted to say small for his age and he doesn't speak any French. Oh well. I'm sure they knew what we were doing.

I can't post any pictures right now because I need to download the rest. Also most of them are on Anthony's work laptop.

I'm happy to be home and can't wait to catch up with everyone.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I was able to post 3 more pictures. We only have wi-fi in the hotel lobby and my battery is starting to go so that's it for tonight.

Dawn- if you are reading Happy Birthday!

xoxo

Leigh, Anthony and Oliver


pictures




our trip

We are having an amazing trip. We left Belgium and our family yesterday. They were so good to us. They kept us well fed and busy.

We have been so busy that there has been no time to download our pictures let alone post on the blog. We are in Paris now and I finally downloaded all of our pictures. There are an overwhelming amount of pictures so I just quickly went through and picked some. I posted 4 pictures and I've been trying for the last 20 minutes to post more. I guess I have a bad connection because I can't do it. I'll try one more time.


Oliver has been great. He is so easy and just goes with the flow. I'm amazed at how well he has adjusted to everything. The flight went perfect. We were able to get a bassinet. It was little bit of an issue because they are only for babies 9 months and younger. We flew scandinavian airlines. When they asked us how old he was and how much he weighed we just kept on saying he'll fit. He didn't exactly fit, but it worked. He slept the entire flight.

Oliver is so cute picking up the different languages. After a day or two with our italian family he was saying ciao. Now he is saying merci.

There is so much more to tell, but that's it for now. We'll be in Paris until Saturday.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009









where have we been?

I can not believe how time has been flying by. Wasn't it just Memorial day weekend?

Our summer has been great. We have seen so many friends and a lot of family. Oliver has loved all the attention. I feel like he has changed so much these last months. He really is a big boy now. He is talking up a storm. He is repeating everything we say. I mean everything. Down to my ums. I apparently say that a lot especially when I'm looking for something or standing in front of the fridge. He'll just lean against the fridge and say "um".

He is really into trains. That's his big toy right now. He brings a train with him where ever we go. As we walk into a store he'll show it to the first person he sees and say "choo choo". He likes to knock one train over and say "help help". He'll get another train to push the train that's been knocked over back up. Than he says "thank you".

We joined our town pool so we've been spending a lot of time there playing with our friends. He loves the water. He loves to kick, splash, drink, and jump in it. I signed him up for swim lessions for the fall. I think he is going to love it.

The past couple of days we have been teaching him to say ciao and give kisses on the cheek. We are getting him ready for our trip to Europe. We leave this weekend. We can't wait. We are going to visit Anthony's family in Belgium and than we are traveling to Paris and Stockholm. Anthony's parents are going to be with us in Belgium. I'm so glad we are all getting to take this trip together.

This last week running around getting ready for our trip reminds me so much of last August when we were getting ready to go to Vietnam. It's crazy because that trip is behind us and now we are planning a big family vacation. There were times last summer when I never thought we would get to this point.

We will definitely post pictures while we are there.

Monday, June 29, 2009

We have a lot to thank on Father's Day

I am lucky enough to have two wonderful fathers in my life. My Father, Frank, and my father-in-law Joe. Both men have done so much for me over the course of my life. They have worried about me when I was in the hospital and took food requests when I was recuperating at home. Thank you does not seem to be enough. Lately time has seemed like it is flying by and it has been making me appreciate the importance of telling your love ones that you love and need them in your lives.

I would have never got through law school without my Dad. The advice and support he gave me during my trials at the DAs office was priceless. He has a prospective that few can get during a trial. I still think back to how lucky I was to have that. It's been fun to watch him grow into his roll as a grandfather. He is just as silly and scutchy as you would expect. Oliver loves it.



My Father-in-law has giving me a lot of support, but has helped Tony in so many ways. I know that Tony wouldn't have the career he has today without all that Joe did for Tony when he was younger. He took him to wonderful places and he showed him how to do all kinds of things. Joe has been a grandfather for a while, but he has not lost his sense of wonder and excitement when he plays with Oliver. Oliver loves the vast array of animal noises Joe can make and it seems that he never gets tried of making them for him. Joe never triers of feeding Ollie or of any of us for that matter.



The final Father I want to thank is Tony. I could not be the mother I am without him. He gives me so much help. I love watching how patient and calm he can be even though he is reading the same book to Ollie for the 15th time. His silliness is unparalleled. He'll do anything with Ollie. The goofier the better.



Thankfully he shares his wisdom with me. It is unbelievable how much he knows about babies and kids. I always knew he grew up around a lot of children, but still all the knowledge he took from it is incredible. Oliver and I have already learned so much from Tony and we will continue to do so.

It brings happy tears to my eyes that Oliver will gain so much from these amazing men.


What else can I say except life is good. I love you all. We have such fun!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009