Monday, February 28, 2011

Family Time

As promised: fewer words, more pictures:

 Some pajama time

 Then it was off to New Jersey. A laughable doozie of a car ride (6 hours, traffic, and a crying baby. And I somehow managed to climb over the car seat from the front to the back to keep Addy company - no pictures of that!), but we made it. And it was worth going down ahead of schedule, Friday night instead of Saturday morning, because we got in more family time...

 ...and a playdate with AJ.

Then it was off to meet the new baby!

Welcome, Austin Michael

 And then it was Sunday, and it was time to hit the road, for another long car ride home. But with Chloe in the back, I was saved from having to do any more acrobatics. The sad part was watching the temperature drop from mid-fifties in New Jersey to mid-twenties (and snowing) in Massachusetts. And along with the 30 degree temperature drop was a 30 cent price jump per gallon for gas. New Jersey, we miss you.

Cinnamon is home! Now we just have to teach Addy to stop chewing on Cinnamon's toys... and bones.

Addy decided at lunch today that she wanted to use my spoon. She mostly just brandished it as a weapon to prevent me from helping her with her pasta.

And, thank goodness, Addy is down for her second nap today. After a week of once-a-day naps, my hair was starting to fall out. Looks like we're back on schedule! Now maybe those darn teeth will pop through.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting Thrifty With It

(cue Will Smith's Getting Jiggy With It - I'm playing it for inspiration)

Addy will be 11 months old next week. Which means she will be a year old in 5 weeks. Which means I need to plan a party!

So, step 1: Invitations. I browsed on over to Tiny Prints, because I like their designs, entered in all the information, and done! So, I mentioned to Pete that I was going to order the invitations, and they'd be right around $40 (about $1.33 per invite). He laughed at me. And told me to just make them myself. So I started to look for free templates for photo invitations, and found a bunch. Unfortunately, they were free to make, but then cost $8-$10 to download them to print. (Plus the photo paper and envelopes, which took me to $0.46 per invite) So that was good, but not great. I was getting frustrated because I knew I could do what I wanted with Microsoft Publisher, but I'm a Mac girl now. Thankfully, I was determined to get what I wanted, and knew Mac wasn't going to let me down. So, I found out that Pages is the Publisher equivalent. And that you can download it to try it for free for 30 days. So, I downloaded Pages, fiddled around and created my invitation, and printed them off. When all was said and done, I made the invitations for $0.16 each! (Just the cost of the paper and envelopes). Not too shabby. "BUT ink is expensive!" I know that's what you're thinking. And it is: $100 for a full set of cartridges, which last a few months. And, 2 weeks ago, every single cartridge was low and needed to be replaced. I have become a bit of a thrifty shop-a-holic, and had decided to give a ink refill kit a try. It was $15, and comes with enough ink for 10 refills of each color cartridge, and 30 refills of the black - so $1.50 for each full refill, plus some extra black. So, I bought that, and set up my little work station with my drill and needles and syringes that you need to refill ink cartridges, and got to work. And I refilled those ink cartridges! I was nervous that the ink wasn't going to be very good ink since it was so cheap, and I was shocked to see that I actually had better print quality with the cheap stuff!

So, I am patting myself on the back for all the money I've saved this week. In my old life, I would have ordered the Tiny Print invites, AND spent $100 on the new ink cartridges - a cool $140 gone. Instead, I spent $30 - and I still have 170 pages of photo paper, 25 envelopes, and a year and a half worth of printer ink.

Not that I've actually sent out the invitations. Be real people. That was a lot of productivity. I'll get to it... before April.

A lot of words, but not a lot of pictures... we're gearing up to head to NJ, where I may get carpal tunnel from pressing on the shutter for the next 48 hours taking pictures of the new baby. So the next post will be lots of pics, and just a few words.

I know this one is a repeat post from last time. But my sisters said that she looks just like our Dad in this one, so it definitely deserves a re-post. We love you Pop!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Baby Time!

Pete's sister Kelly had her baby, Austin Michael, on Monday afternoon. He is SOO precious, and I am just itching to get down to New Jersey this weekend to snuggle up to the new little bundle. Chloe is in New Jersey this week for Winter Break (at Hotel Mutzy). We are also excited that Cinnamon (our Cavalier) is done nursing her puppies in New Jersey, and will be coming home with us. So, lots of pictures will be coming next week!

Here are a few shots from hanging around the house. The weather has gone back to frigid, so we're sticking close to the heater.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekends are delicious

We read books. We drink coffee. We catch up on Netflix. We bundle up and go outside, because even if there's a windchill of -10 degrees, Addy loves being pushed all over the driveway in her Cozy Coupe. (Goodbye, 65 degree weather. Hello again, Old Man Winter). We snuggle and giggle. If we feel like it, we get dressed before noon.

And then it's Sunday, so we do it all over again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Good Times With Great Friends - UPDATED

My best friend from high school, Angela, and her husband Will came to visit. We spent the day walking around Boston, enjoyed Italian pastries at Mike's, lunch at Kitty O'Shea's, and made a plan to do a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery for their next visit.  We stopped back at home for some quick rounds of UNO (Angela and Chloe) and some quick naps (Will and Addy). Then we set off for a walking tour of Winchester.

It was one of those days that are almost textbook perfection. My legs are tired from all the walking, and my heart is full from the wonderful time spent with wonderful friends. It was the refill my emotional cup was craving! Mother Nature was also smiling down on us. It was a balmy 65 degrees. We still have snow on the ground, and our feet got very wet trying to avoid melting puddles and streaming rivers, but there was grass poking out at the edges of some lawns. It was the recharging my batteries needed to make it through the rest of the winter.

**UPDATE** I figured out how to do the collages - Picasa 3! Thanks Google!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mornings In Our House

I wanted to share a view into mornings at our house... and showcase some sister-love.

First is breakfast.

Then backpack prep and book time

 I love this one because she thought I was taking pictures of Addy. She's smiling at something in the book :)

And then it's off to school! As you can see, mornings are pretty peaceful, lots of snuggles and quiet preparation for the day. We get most of the "dirty work" (lunch prep, gathering of clothes, etc) out of the way the night before, so there's no running around like crazy. We like it!

It is supposed to be warm today and tomorrow, so I'll try and get some good outside shots. I'm getting tired of the yellowish cast taking pictures inside (then having to mess with them on iPhoto to get them how I want. My filters haven't arrived yet!) Plus, we're having visitors, so I think we're going to head into Boston!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Here! It's Here!!

After stalking the front porch for 24 hours, the package finally arrived when I was in the shower. So, I present lots of "eh" pictures! :) I'm obviously still working on figuring everything out with the lens - there is no zoom on it, and how to focus correctly, but it's a work in progress. I started with some things that weren't moving:

And then moved on to some things that were:

It's going to be hard not to take a million pictures of my little cutie. So I'm not even going to try. That's what large hard drives are for!

Once Chloe was done with homework, we went for a walk, with a grand plan to go on the swings on the playground. Unfortunately when we arrived we found out that there is still about a foot and a half of snow left to melt. A cruel reminder that although it will be 60 degrees on Friday, winter in New England is still only half over. Darn it.

PS- I'm not thrilled about only being able to put my pictures in a straight line - anyone know how to fix this?