Friday, May 30, 2008

Cleaning House

Mom found some old photos cleaning out a drawer last week. The top one is mom and me-- probably taken by Uncle Perry. Can you identify the characters in the picture below?

My friend Lauren is a fighter. As many of you know, her life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35 last year. Lauren has committed to walking The Breast Cancer 3-Day -- a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.

Lauren has collected 81% of her $7500 goal; AMAZING! Please consider supporting this courageous wife, mother, daughter and friend. You can read her story and make a donation here :

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Amanda's Confession

I am almost sad to say it but, Ethan and I have tried this stuff. It is... interesting. It just tasted like beer and clamato juice. I am sure if Dad was a beer drinker he would have mixed up this doozie for us a long time ago.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wild and Wonderful

Graham is getting entirely too much face time on this blog, so Uncle J-Rod and Aunt Abby have decided to hijack the blog and share our adventures from this past weekend in West Virginia. We took the motorcycle on our first overnight road trip. It was 400 miles round trip and absolutely gorgeous. Here's a map of our route.

View Larger Map

Our destination was Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. It's part of the North Fork Ridge on the banks of the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River. Seriously, that's the whole name of the river. And this type of outcropping is called a hoodoo. Here were are at the base with the rocks behind us. Lots of people come here to hike and rock climb. We just looked up from the bottom.

The real adventure didn't come on the bike, however. Things got truly interesting when we made it to our motel- Yokum's Vacationland. (And yes, it does appear there is a typo on the postcard spelling Yokum's as Vokum's.) We knew we were in for a real treat when I found out it would cost us a whole $40 a night to stay there.

Here's a shot of our super sexy room. Shirley Yokum, proprietor, kindly asked us in a note posted to the wall to forgive the slight stains on the sheet sets as the water in the laundromat has iron in it. No problem, Shirley. We have no intension of thinking up any other reason why there are brown stains on the sheets.

Next we checked out the bathroom. The sign outside the motel promises hot showers. What they don't tell you is that the water will come out at about the rate of a slow post-nasal drip and it will be hot enough to brew tea. No joke. I burned my hand. Thankfully Jason is an engineer and around inventions all the time so he came up with the ingenious water-bottle shower (patent pending). The method is stand in the tub, suds up carefully with the slightly less scalding water from the sink and pour water from the water bottle over body. Rinse and repeat. If you're looking for a way to really conserve water, I highly recommend this.
When we got to Harper's General Store in Seneca Rocks we realized West Virginia really was "Wild and Wonderful" (as promised in the tourism commercials). While perusing the cooler section for some liquid refreshment we came across this fancy treat...

That's right- Bud light and Clamato juice together in a can! Despite the adventurous spirit of the weekend, we couldn't bring ourselves to do more than take a picture of it.

At the restaurant upstairs from the general store, I swiped a placemat featuring "Mountain Talk". Some of my favorite words are "biggety", "askeered of", and "lollygag". I also found 2 big white hairs in my chicken salad pita, but I won't bore you with the tale of my vittles.

We really had a great time and the scenery was incredible. Our bums and legs are only a little sore and Jason says I can now officially call myself a biker chic. My mom is so proud. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Six Years, Seven Pictures

Each year we commemorate our anniversary with a photo taken outside the Major's Inn, where we were wed.

Happy Anniversary!

We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary in style Sunday night with a romantic dinner... Just the THREE of us!
Melissa's Mom was scheduled to attend Graham while we snuck out for dinner, but after a long napless day we decided that instead of having her suffer a few hours listening to him cry and fuss, we would take him along with us since we knew the car ride would knock him out.
(This also freed Jeanine up to finish sewing Melissa's new shirt seen in the Memorial day pictures below!)
He was of course wide awake by the time dessert came!

Memorial Day fun!

Happy Memorial Day!

Graham enjoyed the Memorial day festivities in Gilbertsville, standing right outside the Major's Inn where we were married. The parade is extremely small, with just the local high school band, a few scout troops, about 7 WW2 vets, 2 fire trucks and 2 old cars. The whole thing literally finishes in about 15 minutes. Graham did like the bass drums of the marching band though!

After the parade there's an uphill walk to the cemetery where there's a beautiful memorial service, along with a 21 gun salute. (He jumped but did not cry at the loud gunfire. This is good because firework season is fast approaching!)

After the ceremony we all went to Great Grandmother Shirley's for fresh cookies, cakes and hot cinnamon buns! Graham also got to relax in the grass for the first time! He liked the way it tickled his toes!
Here's a few more shots taken of the family-

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Main Event

Last, but certainly not least, Graham spent the afternoon flirting with Gramma Strolin and Great Gram McSally. His photogenic smile definitely comes from these ladies; he and Gramma both weren't feeling particularly well-- and their beautiful smiles prove that not even a headache and nasty cold can break their super cute power!
Graham also got to meet Uncle Kevin for the first time and kicked back with Aunties Lori and Kit and cousins Devin, Kieran and Samantha (who is getting married!!). Sadly, we didn't stay for Michelle's graduation party (due to aforementioned phlegm attack) but we are SO PROUD of her and wish her all the luck in grad school in the fall.

I spy with my little eye...

Uncle Eddie teaches Graham the fine art of spying on the neighbors (as if I hadn't already been working on it with him ;) ). In all seriousness, Ed was a great sport. You know someone is either A. a friend for life or B. an excellent actor if your kid throws up phlegm all over his brand new comforter and he is totally unphased.
Ed, Thanks for being such a pal.

Norwalk Institutions

Jim and I introduced Graham to Overton's (Liz and I used to call it the Shake Shack, like we were Velma and Daphne). We headed down to the beach to enjoy the sea air (which promptly put our weary little traveler to sleep).
Later Saturday, we took him on his maiden voyage to Stew Leonard's. Where he had a great time enjoying the 4 foot tall singing Chiquita banana animatronic as well as the somersault monkey! He wasn't such a big fan of Clover the animatronic cow, but I suspect it may have something to do with the way Jim parked the shopping carriage directly in front of her and then pressed her udderly loud mooing button (which also featured a very non-bovine like leaky valve hiss).

Now, that's a spicy meat-ball!

We traditionally celebrate the holidays with our Connecticut friends at Pellicci's. We had a wonderful (albeit tardy) Christmas get together on Friday night with Alecia, Jeff and the feti; Betsy, Dean and Chris; and Ed and Anthony. Good Times. Who put all the sugar packets in the diaper bag?

It's Puzzling

One month later (and with an assist from my mom), I completed our craft project from April. Of course I do some research on it after complete to find out there's a better way to put them together, so now I need to make another one... ahh the never ending project list!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day fun

A special visit from Aunt Amanda!

A four wheeler ride with Grandpa!

Fine cuisine served with entertainment...

and some excellent bubble time with Grandma!

What more could you ask for?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's Day Gift

We decided a tree would be a nice way to commemorate this special day. Here are Jim and Graham at the greenhouse. I don't think the plant trolleys were designed to be used with car seats, but the ride lulled my baby to sleep quite nicely.