Party of 4 - NY sports and beach loving family!
Friday, December 30, 2005
Our Christmas celebrations start on Christmas Eve at Aunt Mary & Uncle Bob's house with my Dad's family. Everyone was there, with the exception of my sister Amy and her husband (they live in FL) and my cousin Dan (he is in CA in the Navy). We began with delicious appetizers and then moved on to dinner. Aunt Mary always has a lot to choose from, there was fish, ham, salad, potato salad, lasanga, meatballs and sausage and I am sure I am forgetting something. We ate like D'Alonzo's. After dinner, we exchange gifts. Now that most of us kids are older, we all get gifts from Grandma and Grandpa, and Allison and Tommy get gifts from the Aunts and Uncles. I buy for Grandma & Grandpa and Aunt Mary for being a gracious hostess. David got gifts from everyone. He loved his Power Rangers clothes from Aunt Debbie and his book and Gap clothes from Aunt Mary. Grandmom and Grandpop gave him a remote control truck and money. He played all night with the truck. After some tasty dessert, we left & headed to my cousin Barbara's. David could not wait to get there and play with the kids. As soon as we walked in PJ & David gave David his Little People gift. He loved it. I then gave the boys their stuff, Maggie was sleeping (what a good girl). Aunt Marylynn gave David 2 beautiful outfits and then he was off to play. I got to spend some nice time with Meghan and Barb while sipping some wine and watching the kids play so nice together. We left there about 11 pm. David fell asleep on the way home which was perfect. Steve put him in his bed when we got home and then Santa did his thing. The next morning David was SO excited to see that Santa left him LOTS of presents. He got air hockey (tabletop), trains, power rangers, DVDs, clothes and lots lots more. Santa left me Sirius satelite radio, bras, expensive jeans, lots of CDs, CSI DVDs, and a beautiful necklace. Steve got shirts, thermals and a Flat Panel HD TV. MomMom & Gramps stayed over and they got stuff too. MomMom got a wine bottle opener, Anita Baker Xmas CD and Oprah DVDs. Gramps got Donald Duck Pj's, Jamie Foxx CD and Train DVD. Amy, Andrew, Steve and I also got them tickets to Jersey Boys on Broadway. We all had a great Christmas morning. David played with his toys while Steve and I got ready to head out to Aunt Kathy and Uncle Bob's to celebrate with my Mom's side. It was real nice for all us to be together especially with Nana passing away the day before. Aunt Kathy's is always lots of fun. We do a grab bag with the whole family. We choose names on Thanksgiving and there is a $50 limit. Before we exchanged gifts, we eat a yummy dinner. Aunt Kathy also makes way to much food and we chow down. Her sweet potatoes are to die for so I had seconds. After dinner we start the grab bag exchange. I host the event and this year we went from oldest to youngest. Before you can get your gift, you have to try and guess who had you. I allowed the guesser to ask me 3 yes or no questions this year to make it easier. My Mom went first and my cousin Jackie was last. We all got loads of great stuff and had a blast. I will not mention everything that went on, but I must tell you about my cousin John's gift. My cousin Mike had John and on John's wish list was Seinfeld DVD, something else and a new girlfriend. Yes, you guessed it, Mike bought John a new girlfriend - a Fat Ass Party Doll that blows up. It was the most hilarious thing I ever saw. We all hung out having a great time drinking, eating and reminiscing. We needed that time together. We left there real late and drove home in major fog, but made it home safely. The next day we drove to Tracey and Rich's in PA for a Boettger celebration. We opened gifts as soon as we arrived, because we had a surprise planned for later that night. Tracey and Rich got Steve, David and I plane tickets to FL in July to celebrate Mom Boettger's 60th B'day along with Atari Flashback for Steve, a candle and Disney Xmas book for me and clothes and toys for David. We got Tracey Tinkerbell PJ's, slippers and shirt and a Mickey Initial bracelet, Rich Karaoke for PS2 with 2 mics and tennis stuff. The surprise was tickets for the kids to Disney On Ice in Phillie. Ally also got Disney Scene It and a Baby Doll and Ty got Charlie and the Chocolate Factory game for PS2 and a Power Rangers Boppin Bag. Rich drove us all in to Phillie for the show. The kids, Tracey and I loved it. It was really good and lots of fun. I bought all the kids programs that came with Incredibles masks so they can remember our trip. When we got home, we ate take out and just relaxed. I spent the next day with Tracey and the guys and kids hung out at the house. Before we left we went for lunch at a great restaurant near their house - David slept through the whole thing. It was a good thing we ate a lot, cause it took us 2 1/2 hours to get home! Overall we had a nice Christmas. We spent time with our family and received some great gifts. Nana was missed, but not forgotten.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
My Nana passed away on Christmas Eve after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. I am sad that she is gone, but glad that she is not suffering anymore. Her passing was quick and she was with my Mom and Aunt Carol, so she was not alone. I will miss her and think of her often remembering the times we spent together. She had a good life, great kids and grandkids (even great-grandkids). My grandfather passed on before her, so we think they were in Heaven having Christmas dinner together. All the meat and potatoes two irish people can eat! I love you Nana, God Bless You.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Every year for the past few years, my family makes a trip into NYC to eat, drink and see the tree. This year it was a little different. First thing that changed was Steve's presence. Usually he ends up having to work, but not this year. To most, that would be a nice thing to have your husband be able to join you on a trip to NYC, but not for me. Aside from the fact that he is not a NYC fan, the Giants were playing at 5 pm. We had discussed this during the week and I had told him to PLEASE stay home, but he insisted on coming. Of course, he was NOT a happy camper which in turn made my trip unpleasant. Another change was that Aunt Mary, Uncle Bob and Christopher joined us. This was a GOOD thing, actually a great thing. It was really nice to see Chris, he lives in NYC and I do not see him as much as I'd like to. It was more like old times when all our family used to hang out - like at Brookside. The final change was the independence. Normally, we meet and hit all the sites as a group. This year, everyone did their own thing and we only met up for lunch. Because Steve had ants in his pants, I did not get to do much. We went to Toys R Us, ESPN Zone and the tree. I wanted to go to the Disney Store, FAO Schwartz and just see the sites. I guess I'll just have to hit them up next year, when I fly SOLO.
Friday, December 16, 2005
I love this time of year for many reasons, but one of my favorite things is opening Christmas cards. It is great to hear from family and friends but most of all I love the picture cards. You get to see how the kids have grown - it makes me so happy. Our friends Cathy & Niko have 2 boys and we have not seen them in at least 1 year - we got their card the other day and they are the 2 of the most handsome boys I've ever seen. My cousin Christa sent a card with her 2 girls gracing the front and even though we just saw them in November, they look even more gorgeous and grown up then I remember. My friend Michele from work sent one of her pretty little girls that I have never met in person, but adore all the same. My cousin Barbara sent a picture card that Disney could use in promos. It has all 5 of them with Mickey on Main Street USA. Talk about a great looking family! My sister-in-law sent one of my beautiful niece and strapping nephew hugging, they have matured so much. Our cousins Laurie & Walter mailed one out with Thomas (the cutie) all bundled up sitting in the snow. I could kiss his little face all up! My friend Sandy sent us a photo card of her 2 munchkins in front of their fireplace. How adorable! A long time friend of mine, Melissa, sent one with her handsome sons and a surfing Santa - very original. I just sent our cards out on Tuesday. I hope others enjoy it as much as I enjoy theirs.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
This past weekend was one of the best weekends I've had in a while (not that any of them were bad). Friday morning we woke up to snow, so I was fortunate enough to work from home. I really love working from home. I just pop out of bed, make my way downstairs to the computer and start my day. I always seem to get so much more done on WAH days. My Mom made us grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and before I knew it, my work day was over. Steve had gotten home a little early cause he went in VERY early, so I was able to jump right in to cleaning the house. After taking a shower, I ran over to the A&P to pick up food for Saturday. When I got home, we took a ride to the diner for dinner, but it was jam packed so we ate at Gavlan's. This was only our 2nd time there - I was boycotting because they cut down trees and now I can see Rt. 18 too clearly - but we were hungry. Our dinner was delicious and HUGE. We made the mistake of ordering nachos (much better than the 1st time we were there) and ate all of them. David got pasta with butter and a big salad and that was off the kids menu! Steve had a cajun chicken sandwich and I ordered a southwest pizza. I changed the sauce from marinara to BBQ - awesome. Once we got home, I started to put the house together for my Holiday Shopping Open House that I held on Saturday. I did not go to bed until well after 1 AM. I woke up bright and early on Saturday and got to cleaning. Steve and David went to Vo-Tech for the Santa Breakfast. It was perfect, I cleaned, prepped and showered all alone. When they came home, Steve helped me do a few things and then Jean showed up. She set herself up and I got the food ready. Steve, David and Zach headed upstairs. Megan and her friend were our first customers. Then my Aunt Carol came in. Corey dropped by with Jean's Mom, she stayed, he left. Aunt Kathy and Jackie showed up and then Theresa came too. We all hung out, ate, drank, shopped and gossiped. Jean sold some pieces and I sold some product too. It was a really great day. After I cleaned up, Steve, David and I went to get our Christmas tree. There was slim pickings, but we got one. We wanted a skinny one and we got it. I have to tell you, for a good Xmas tree story, visit Mike's blog. Anyway, David helped Steve set the tree up and unwrap it - he was very excited. Steve cooked a london broil on the grill for dinner - it was very tasty. David wanted to play poker - yeah I know - so we played and then it was time for bed. I slept right through my nail appt on Sunday morning - oops! So we had a nice lazy Sunday. I made David pancakes (microwavable) with whipped cream - he loved them. I ran to A&P and Kmart for some little things. When I got home, we decorated the tree and the house. At first David was very into it and helpful, but then he got distracted, so I finished up. During this time, I was watching the Giants beat the Eagles - YAHOO! I made chili for dinner and then we ran back to Kmart for more outdoor lights. Our trip served 2 purposes - the lights and David falling asleep. We succeeded on both fronts - until we walked in the house. David jumped out of arms with more energy then ever. Steve and I just looked at each other in amazement. David played on the computer and we watched the ever so boring Sunday night football game. When it was time for bed - I was elated. I was exhausted. I really had a great weekend.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
We had an addition built onto our humble abode right after David was born in June 2003. We were instructed by our contractor that we had to have fire and carbon monoxide detectors hard wired into our home. They were to be placed in all bedrooms, on the first floor and the basement. Well, for the past 3 nights, our alarms have been going off. The first night it happened we assumed that it had something to do with the battery. The second night, I opened a window to get in fresh air and it worked. Last night, I called the EB Police Department. The operator sent over an officer and the fire department at 1:30 am! The firefighter told us that it was probably the sheet rock dust (from Steve fixing and painting the stairway) blocking the sensor. He told us to vaccum the detectors. So Steve did. He put them back up and they were still going off. The solution - take them out of the ceiling all together. So as of now, we have no detectors - not a great thing. I will be calling Steve's cousin Walter (an electrician) to come by and take a look. I can not live with the high pitch alarm in the middle of the night, but we might not live through a fire or CO2 without a detector!
Sunday, December 04, 2005
I started my Christmas shopping yesterday - at least the mall part. I had purchased a few items online this week. I needed to be out of the house a while, so Steve could paint some of the walls that never got done, so I headed to the Freehold Mall. I was going to meet my Mom there and she had some things to do first, so I stopped off at Best Buy and Modell's on Rt. 9. I bought gifts for my 2 brothers-in-law, Steve's grab bag person and Steve. By now my Mom was on her way, so off to the mall. It was crowded, but I have seen worse. I had a few coupons, so I wanted to check out, The Children's Place, Disney and American Eagle. I bought stuff for David and myself - I know real good. We had pretzles for lunch and David spotted an arcade - not good. I told him we could go in, but thankfully he never asked for money, so we didn't stay long. All the other stores I needed had long lines and are at my crappy little local mall, so I headed home. I called Steve and he was not done, so I thought I'd hit that crappy mall. But, my bladder took over and I stopped home. David really needed a nap, but wouldn't take one. After a 1/2 hour of trying, we headed to the crappy mall. I got a gift for my babysitter, my grab bag person & my sister and the December cards I'll need. After a smoothie, we went back home. Steve was finishing up, so I made dinner and got David in his PJ's. I feel that I am half done with my shopping. There are a few people I am clueless about, but I'll think of something. Now I am on my way to Kmart to get some money back - wish me luck!