Monday, July 19, 2010


Last week I spent some time with a friend's daughter that just "messes around with her camera." She not only has amazing skills with children, she does beautiful things with the photos she takes. So I felt inspired myself to mess around with iphoto and play with some special effects. I think these were kind of fun, but I especially love this one.
Lest I forget to post Vincent's 15 month stats:
-weight: 23.14 pounds, 41%
-height: 32 inches, 77%
-head: 19 1/4 inches, 90% (shouldn't be a shock)
So clearly he is growing, even though his diet has consisted of hotdogs and goldfish crackers of late. He goes through broccoli, blueberry, yogurt, scrambled eggs, and fish stick phases, but with his molars cutting through, eating hasn't been a favorite activity in recent weeks. His gums are seriously swollen and I just feel so badly for him. But knock on wood, he continues to sleep right through the night.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

So Proud!

Serious block stacking going on here. Check out the focus, the determination, the pride.
Recently, Vinny has learned all by himself how to stack his little shape blocks on top of each other. It happened one morning while I wasn't really even paying attention. All of the sudden I heard Vinny chuckling (think Vinny Barbarino of Welcome Back Kotter, mm hmm, that is seriously what he sounded like)! Anyway, he was walking away but looking at a stack of two blocks that he left right next to me on the couch. I thought surely it was a fluke. But no, he continued to work at it on the floor for the next half hour or so. And it continues to be the favorite activity of late.

Another new game he plays involves sliding Lucy's chew toy down one of his cardboard block tube thing. He drops the toy into the tube, lifts the tube, marvels that the chew toy reappears with a "daaaaa" (ta-da), and repeats over and over and over. All of these new games, while fun , are milestones I'm sure in his little brain development. I know I learned about them long ago in my child development studies, and I know there are real names for all these accomplishments in my old textbooks buried deep in my classroom shelves. But as a mom, the only term I find necessary for these milestones is "awesome."

Yeah, awesome. That works.


Does this kid know how to relax, or what? This is a picture I took a couple weeks ago on my camera phone when we joined Missy, Greg, and the boys at the AZ Grand Resort for a day of fun at the pools. Oh, he just cracks me up!

Field Trip!

Our sitter, Michelle, invited us along on her pre-school field trip to Cerreta's Chocolate Factory in Glendale, AZ. I would never pass up a chance to visit a chocolate factory, and I knew Michelle would appreciate and extra set of eyes to keep the little ones all in check. Well, I never expected Vinny to enjoy it as much as he did. He was bright eyed the whole time, pointing to all kinds of interesting things that he observed, especially the giant rice krispy treat bunny in the background. He'd not really eaten any candy up to this point, but ummm, he did that day! As you can see, he thoroughly enjoyed his marshmallow lollipop. While he'd rather run around the candy store than participate in the final chocolate activity, he did enjoy a few m&m's that his little partner, Paige, shared with him while she decorated her pizza. It was most adorable.

Speaking of are a couple of pictures that Vinny's older "classmates" drew during their alphabet studies earlier this spring. When Michelle asked the children what things began with the letter V, they immediately thought of Vinny, and that is what they asked to draw. Michelle was kind enough to share them with me. How sweet are these portraits?


My mother bought a little toddler rocking chair for her living room which matches her leather set perfectly. It's so adorable. Vinny really took to it on our last visit back home. So when we returned to Surprise, Vinny discovered that we, too have a chair that he can sit in. Lately, while cruising around the house, he takes a break and climbs into this special chair once used by Anthony and his brothers and sister. The really funny part of this picture is that Vinny was rocking away, but as soon as he saw the camera come out, he stopped to pose. We have quite a little ham on our hands!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More June Fun

Still loves books-we must read dozens everyday!
Eating pretzels with Boppo
One of Vinny fave's-Goldfish
Playing on the trampolines at Jumpstreet
Loves watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Play With Me Sesame, and best ever nighttime show, The WonderPets. These shows put Vinny in a trance!
Pool Fun with James and Justin-Vinny's first time underwater-loved it!
Nudey Nudey-hee hee hee
More pool fun with Sammy and Daddy. Vinny loves playing on the baja step.
Smiling in the pool? A big difference from last summer!
Vinny loved playing with his cousins from Virginia-here he is with Ben. Sammy and Ben were so sweet with Vinny. He's such a lucky little boy to be doted upon by all his cousins. Even though he's younger by several years, Vinny's cousins all love him so much and took such good care of him while we all visited with Anthony's sister Missy and her husband Greg.

Connecticut 2010 Slideshow

Fenway Park, Hampton Beach, friends, family, Kid City, the Maritime Aquarium, playing in the backyard, hanging out in the front are snapshots of our two week trip back home to Connecticut!

Connecticut 2010

Our annual trek back home every summer has become busier than ever now that Vincent is on the go. It began (and ended) with a lively plane trip-much more tiring than last summer when Vinny didn't require such constant entertainment. We filled our days with lots of field trips and visiting...and trips to Dairy Cream for the yummiest soft serve. Thanks to Katie and Brian, Ant and I were treated to the most memorable trip to Fenway Park, where we got to sit in the front row right behind home plate. We were on TV all night! It was such a great visit to Boston. Brian's family has become our family, and spending time with the Rosadini's, Hoffman girls, and of course the Claffey's is always treasured.
Soon after Boston, we spent a couple days traveling all over Connecticut to Kid City, an interactive children's museum, The Maritime Aquarium along Long Island Sound, and the outlets. We spent a lot of time hanging out in the front yard. While he's still in his mama's boy stage, Vinny is developing quite the independent side, wanting to do everything himself-including sitting with Daddy in the big boy chair-he even figured out how to place his sippy cup in the cup holder.
Why play with toys when you can empty out the pantry?
Kid City with Blaise
Maritime Aquarium
Vinny loved playing with my nephew, Blaise, although you'll have to take my word for it, because judging by the pictures, it doesn't appear Vincent even cracked a smile. Blaise was so sweet with "Binny," sharing his toys and bathtub, playing together, watching favorite TV shows, eating ice cream, and giving kisses and hugs. It's so fun watching Vinny with his older cousins on Anthony's side, but with only 11 months separating he and Blaise, it's so comforting to know that Vinny has a buddy his own age, and they are becoming so close-even with nearly 3000 miles between them.
Although we were on the go the whole time, we got to visit with Vinny's Great Grandparents, too. We've decided this Japanese Maple will be our official photo spot every summer. I've had fun looking back at how much Vinny has changed since last summer. He's gotten so big and although he smiles all the time, he still surveys his environment before he can be sure it's safe to cheese it up for the camera.
One of our favorite parts of our trip was a visit to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. It's a real old-timey boardwalk beach. Ant and I couldn't wait to see Vinny reaction to the sand and sea, and he loved it! He could have played in it all day. I wish we had more time to vacation there. The beach was beautifully manicured-no rocks or seaweed, just soft white sand. The water was freezing but that didn't stop Anthony and Vinny from taking a quick, and I mean quick, dip into the Atlantic. We decided to take the long way home along Route 1A which winds long the coast through some really old colonial fishing towns. We stopped in Gloucester for lunch and got caught up in a huge Italian Fiesta in honor of St. Peter. The entire wharf was filled with a carnival atmosphere, and the harbor was crowded with boats to watch the annual greased pole competition and the Blessing of the Fleet. As the priests called upon God to protect each fishing boat by name, I was reminded of the perils these fishermen put themselves through. It's not just a reality show on the Discovery Channel; the fishing industry is the heart of Gloucester and so many neighboring New England communities.

Our visit back home was wonderful. Anthony golfed a bunch, and participated in his favorite event of the whole year, The Trainer. Run by Brian now, the Claffey's know how to throw a party! Soon after, we packed up our things and returned to Surprise...but not before one last trip to Dairy Cream!

He's Got the Cutest Little Baby Face: First 2 Months

Vincent's First Few Days at Home

Vincent Joseph is Born

Murphy and Lucy