Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let The Games Begin

BabyRama, Babystock, Baby Olympics

What ever you call it we had one heck of a first birthday party for the “triplets” a few weeks ago. My mom decided to throw a little get together for her three grandkids who were all born last year within 8 weeks of each other. If you know my mother, she doesn’t do anything half arsed. Yaya, as the grandkids call her, planned a fun afternoon full of cake smashing and baby Olympic events.

First up, the cake smashing. My mom ordered three fondant covered cakes, one for each baby to smash all on their own. It was so funny to see how each one smashed in their own style. Dominick, the first born and already having lots of practice at his bday party, dove right in. He tore of pieces and down the hatch they went.

Samantha, our only girl, was very dainty. She didn’t want to get her little hands dirty so she just leaned forward for full on mouth vs cake action.

Chester, the youngest of the three, was just beside himself! He decided to dismember his cake starting in the middle and working his way out.

We sang, they smashed and they even shared some cake with the grown ups. The room was very festive with balloons and streamers and if you looked closely, you saw little Olympic rings made out of plastic bracelets hanging from the chandelier.

Now on to the Olympic games. Each baby had their own little outfit. There were three events: crawling, dancing and laughing. All participants had been given pre-notice of what the competitions would be, so we all came prepared. We trained long and hard and we were eager to see what the other babies brought to the competition.

We also had an official judge, namely the eldest grandson Zach who is 5. Zach was super excited to be the judge. He had a ref shirt and even a stopwatch and whistle! Several days before the party Zach told Yaya that he really wanted Dominick to win everything. Yaya had to do some teaching about fairness and making sure the best athlete wins. This kid is a riot! Here is Zach with his best bud, Dominick.

The crawling competition was set to start and the daddies were on one side of the room and the mommies were eager to coax their little babies across the carpet. We had a little something up our sleeve… namely… a lovey. Yes, Dominick is 100% attached to a little blankie and he will do anything to get to his lovey.

On your mark, get set, GO!

And they’re off… Dominick comes charging out of the gate, full steam. Wait, there’s Samantha in lane two throwing a huge fit and will not let go of her daddy. Here comes Chester cutting across all lanes to get to the toys. Dominick eased into the finish line and took home the gold. Chester won the silver and Samantha captured the bronze with her stellar dramatic performance. Here's Dominick in his post victory splendor... and clutching his lovey of course.

There were actual metals that Zach and Yaya made – very cute. A nice bottle of wine accompanied each metal.

Our next event was laughing and Samantha had found her event. With the help of her very funny Daddy, she really performed beautifully and took home the gold. Chester got silver with his silly chuckle and Dominick crapped out and was in no mood for laughing. Here's St. John making Chester crack up!

On to dancing and on came some great music! The babies lined up holding onto the coffee table. Samantha decided she wasn’t feeling the music. Chester on the other hand rocked the house! He was popping and wiggling, putting on a great show. Dominick came in at the end with some very spirited moves while we clapped and sang. Our official was having a tough time deciding. Zach said out loud, “Dominick should win, he is was the best dancer.” When we all knew that Chester put on the best show.

Yaya pulled Zach aside and reminded him of their talk about fairness, but he wouldn’t budge. Zach awarded Dominick the gold, silver went to Chester and Samantha got bronze. That’s okay because we all know how the real winner was!

It was a really nice way to end a very eventful year in the Frizell family. We were so blessed to have three new editions join the ranks of our wild and crazy bunch. I can see many baby Olympics in our future.

Here's the whole crew - The proud grandparents: Pop and Yaya; Frank, Dominick and myself; Mike, Chrisi, Samantha and Zach; St. John, Linden and Chester

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lucky Thirteen

I promise not to be “that mom” that says… “my son is 28 months old.” I think it’s ridiculous. I can’t even do the math that fast to figure out how old your kid is. BUT, that said, I will continue my monthly/bi-monthly updates about Dominick and his milestones.

Month thirteen brings much of the same as last month. Dominick hasn’t decided to start walking on his own yet. Despite his Papa's constant bribery. He can cruise with the best of them and is pretty quick moving along the side of the couch or holding on to his play yard fence. He loves to be chased and I can already see him running away from us when he finally gets the hand of walking solo. Dominick’s almost there. He just needs to be a bit braver. He’ll take two steps then fall into your arms. We’re waiting for the three, four and five steps.

Dominick still eats like a champ. Even through his recent bouts with being sick, he still manages to have an appetite. Some of his favorites this month are spinach nuggets by Dr. Praeger’s. This is an interesting line of sensible food was developed by two New Jersey-based heart surgeons. Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods are all natural, low in cholesterol and saturated fats, free of preservatives and artificial ingredients and nothing fried with lots of tasty veggies. The food is also Kosher if that’s your thing. We’re working our way through testing Dr. P’s kids line.
Dominick is king of the point… well, it’s more of a whole hand pointing in the direction of “I want that!” A book, food, to look outside. The kid knows what he wants and how to get it. He’s doing great at his signing. He does “more” and is now doing “eat” and “all done.” “milk,” and “bye-bye” all look the same, but he does them on command. He’s quick to sign “all done” when he’s on the changing table. He signs “milk” when he sees his bottle. He waves “bye-bye” to every single person he sees. Just adorable. Now we’re working on “please,” “water” and “juice.” Baby steps.

Here he is super excited about his water table - he tenses all his muscles and squeals!

Dominick loves to say “Ozzie” and “dada” and occasionally “mama.” When ever he hears music he immediately lights up with a smile and claps his hands. He’s still a fan of the crazy Wiggles. They probably remind him of his dad who has been singing and doing silly dances for years. Even pre-baby.

Favorite toys – that would be the water table times ten. He LOVES to be outside, on our deck and get completely soaked splashing away. He’ll even play with it when it’s empty. His Grammie and Papa got him a cute climber, slide and swing set for little toddlers. He doesn’t care much for the swing but loves the slide and to play pirate with the captain’s wheel. He also loves his little blue car his Aunt Kristen gave him – it’s one of those cars they sit in and the adults push them around. Super easy and he just loves to turn the wheel and beep his horn.

Splashing is very serious business.
Dominick is still a good sleeper and sleeps through the night most nights. But he’s decided he only wants to nap once a day which is great for allowing us to get out of the house more often. He’s usually up by 7 a.m. and then goes back down by 11 until at least 12:30 p.m. Then he may go down for a little cat nap around 2:30/3. He’s surprised me with two, two hour naps here and there, but it’s consistently been a one, really long nap around lunch time. We usually put him to bed by 7 p.m. It works for him, it works for us.

I think this picture is hilarious. Frank has his usual, "take the picture already" face on and Dominick wants NOTHING to do with being taken away from his water table.

We’re looking forward to many more milestones we know are just around the corner – namely walking and talking!

Two Babies

Has it really been two weeks? Really?

A lot has gone down the past few weeks. Mainly, the croup. Poor Dominick had an awful case of the croup… and you have to put the “the” in front of croup. I looked it up.

At first I just thought that awful sound coming out of his little chest was him getting all worked up after crying, but nope. His Grammie knew exactly what it was and off to the doctor’s we go. Poor guy sounded like he was smoking two packs a day! And it really does sound like a barking seal! Little did I know that the croup is contagious and one of his daycare buddies shared this virus around the class – each baby was out for at least a week. We didn’t have to do the hot shower thing, but we did spend a lot of time soothing him near a humidifier. After a few rounds of steroids the little guy was getting better and we were semi back to normal.

Fast forward a few days and just after we had our new roof installed, Frank starts to come down with a scratchy throat. He first thinks it’s allergies since he spent a lot of time outside with the roofers – he even made them burgers for lunch – that’s the kind of guy I married! After a few more days Frank’s scratchy throat turned into a major sore throat and cough. He was home from work for two days then off to the doc for him. Doc gives out antibiotics and says to stay home all week! I’m glad Frank’s immune system has held strong until now, the guy’s got tons of unused sick time. Poor baby… he really was miserable and his voice was so squeaky. Kind of like Peter Brady. “When it’s time to ch**ange”

So while my husband is feeling horrible, Dominick decides to go another round with a reparatory infection coughing so hard he throws up and has boogies everywhere. Poor little guy.

I’ve been taking care of my two babies this week. Cooking up a storm and for once I’m keeping the germs at bay. I’ve been on antibiotics for a tooth infection and I think that’s was saved me this time! I have an impending root canal that I’m really, really not looking forward too. But I have found a great dentist that does sedation and I’m all for pain management – nock me out!

Thankfully, everyone seems to be on the mend.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cookie Therapy

Baking cookies, not eating them this time.

When planning Dominick’s party I found this really cool cookie recipe online for “play dough cookies.” Basically multicolored cookies swirled up on a lollypop stick. I figured the kids would love to eat these crazy colored cookies.

I decided to make them the weekend before because I knew they’d be really labor incentive. Here’s a step by step.

First you make a whole bunch of cookie dough from scratch. Easy enough. Then you have to quarter the dough and die them four different colors….

Okay, how do you actually die cookie dough? Genius me put the dough in a gallon zip lock bag and added some gel color and squished away. It worked really well. Wish I would have thought of this before I did the first color and ended up with bright yellow palms trying to need it together.

Let the dough sit in the fridge for a few hours. Once hardened, start making little ¾ inch balls out of each color. Now, get ready to sit down and put on some music because this takes FOREVER!

To make the actual cookie, take one ball of each color and roll them together to form on large swirled ball.

Then roll the large ball out into a 1 foot long snake.

Then coil the snake around itself to form the swirled cookie. This is where true clay forming technique comes in. You could so tell my first few cookies… they looked awful. Finger dents her and there, uneven thickness. By the time I rolled out my 40th cookie, I was an old pro. This was one of my first cookies, very lumpy.

Gently insert cookie pop stick and bake. At the end of the night I looked at all my cookie pops and felt they were TOTALLY worth the effort. They looked great.

All the kids loved them at the party. They couldn’t wait to pick out their cookie and take them home. I have to say they didn’t taste all that great, but they sure looked good.

Definitely therapeutic.

Easter Fun

We had a great Easter this year. Much different from last year when the little guy was only two weeks old. He didn't get the whole look for the eggs thing, but he sure enjoyed dying them!
He loved eating them too! I have a special memory growing up of looking at a baby picture of mine where I'm covered in deviled eggs... we tried to recreate the special moment... Dominick happily agreed.

Frank had to work on Easter Sunday, so I was off to celebrate with out him. We spent some time at both parent's houses. I had dinner with my parents and my mom made an amazing fresh ham. I have never seen Dominick eat so much! And this was after he had all those deviled eggs!
We then went to Frank's parents house for desert. We took a few commemorative photos. Here's Dominick in his Easter outfit. His hair is so stiff from the special hair treatment he gave himself with the deviled eggs. Plus he was exhausted with no nap all day!

Here is Dominick and his two second cousins, Reese (3 1/2) and Christopher (1). Like the bunny ears? Of course that was my idea!

Yeah, they made me wear these... my brilliant idea backfired.
Off with the spiffy duds and we slipped Dominick into something a little more comfortable. This was his FIRST time sitting in grass...

He was soooo excited!

The soccor ball was also very exciting.

I made some special cupcakes, you know the kind you bake in icecream cones? I knew Reese would LOVE it, and she did.

The Prince Turns One

On Dominick's actual birthday, he headed into daycare with home made banana bread muffins and bubbles for all his class mates. He wore his special b-day boy shirt. Don't you just love the suspenders?
After school we had a mini celebration on Dominick actual birthday. This consisted of watching him destroy an elmo cupcake. Fun time was had by all. He even had icing down his back!

We had quite the celebration for Dominick’s first birthday party. I’m so glad everyone could join us and celebrate. It was VERY tight and people were all over my in-law’s house. We had about 50 people come and this is just basically my husband’s extended family and a few of my friends and their kids. All in all, we had a great time.
We had an amazing punch that Kristen found online and served gigantic subs, baked ziti, salads, sausage and peppers. We had plenty of food for everyone. I really regret not taking enough pictures.
Each of the kids got to make a foam craft or color. That kept them busy for at least 20 minutes. We had the families who attended sign a commemorative plate and photo mat. We’ll use the plate every year for Dominick’s cake. We had lots of balloons and decorations.

I made a special “smash” cake for Dominick. I made the icing from scratch and I had these high expectations to make the perfect cake with rolled fondant cut outs… Well, I had a little trouble with the icing and it went down hill after that.

In the end, it looked great, but it was a really long night. I still am going to keep my promise to make Dominick’s b-day cakes from here on out! I just need some practice.
Notice anything wrong? Yeah, well, I spelled my own son’s name wrong! That just goes to show you how tired I was! Not sure if you know I am very dyslexic and letters just confuse me. Figures, I minored in English... We didn’t even notice it until the morning of his party. With a little snip, that extra o turned into an i.

Dominick enjoyed his smash cake. And smash he did.

Grammie led the group in a rousing game of Simon Says.

We ended the night with another round of food after everyone left. We had some more wonderful punch and opened all of his gifts. Dominick really made out. One of his faves is this ride on Mickey Mouse airplane! He doesn’t’ actually ride on it, but he walks behind it. Some more faves a pop up Thomas the Train play house and a Thomas the Train Tank that follows you around the house. It responds to your voice command. It’s super loud, but Dominick seems to like it.

We headed home with a very tired little boy and exhausted mommy and daddy.
We couldn’t have done this party with out the love, support and hard work from Frank’s parents and his sister, Kristen.

Looking forward to next year. It will be way less people and a lot more fun!