Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

The annual attempt to capture the ultimate Christmas Card...Boomer was even less interested in this event than Vinny.  We had great intentions of being creative, but time got away from us, so we settled on our own back yard.

I'm partial to this one...

But this is what we ended up using.  Oh, that face...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Except for the snow, of course.  But with temps dipping ever so slightly into the low 70's :) we stopped a the coffee shop for a treat!

Picked out the perfect Christmas tree...

Is that straight enough??

So, everyone seems to have an Elf on the Shelf these days.  This little guy came to us on Vinny's first Christmas when he was just 9 months old.  He spent last Christmas season just hanging out, but it wasn't until this year that he finally got his "magic" now that Vinny understood the elf's story.  Vinny named him "Chippy" and poof, he had his magical power to fly back and forth to the North Pole to report Vinny's behavior to Santa.  Vinny understood you can't touch Chippy or else he will lose his magical power to fly.  So after Boomer got a hold of him one night, Chippy got smart and spent the next day under the shelter of the cake stand.  Our elf is no dummy.

Off to the Apple Store at the Americana across from Anthony's office.  The Christmas lights were beautiful, and miracle of miracles, Vinny was up for a visit to Santa's Workshop to tell Santa he really wanted a Claw and a Materhawk for Christmas.

Not only did he TALK to Santa, he agreed to sit on his lap!!!
The rest of the month flew, with a visit from boppo and a trip to wine country (life is rough in California, I know) and making final preparations for our preschool pageant and Christmas in Connecticut, before you knew it, I was knee deep in sorting through pictures and thank you notes!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Parade and Wine Tasting with Boppo

Didn't take long to snuggle up with Boppo and a good book.

Leave it to Bill to hijack the local Christmas Parade.  During a gap in the lines, Bill took Vinny by the hand and joined in the festivities.  Look carefully right there on the left.  There they are...waving like the mayor.  I love that Vinny is making memories like this with his grandfather.

Then it was off to Central Coast Wine Country.  This is how we roll on road trips:

We arrived at our house, an olive ranch in the middle of nowhere.  Vinny loved the sheep and Great Pyrenees dogs, Bailey and Baxter, on the ranch.

The olive crush was in full swing.  They worked until 1 in the morning, and apparently that was an early night.  Some nights they go clear until 6am until all the olives are pressed.

We may have been in the middle of nowhere, but the views were spectacular.

You can't go to the Central coast for the olive oil alone, right?  When in Paso Robles, you must taste wine!  This is how Vinny occupied his time.  Oh, Apple, how we love thee.

Boppo, you must sniff the wine...

Another jaunt took us up the coast to Hearst Castle.  Once again, the views of the Pacific Coast amazed us.

Took a little sunset pit stop just outside of Morrow Bay...

Those are California sea lions taking refuge on the little dock in the harbor.

Here are some pictures from the Hearst Castle.  What used to be a modest cattle ranch was transformed by the newspaper and magazine mogul William Hurst.  Back in the day, he entertained movie stars from the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, and Clark Gable.  It was beautiful and gaudy all at the same time.  

But the view....

And what we were unable to capture on film on our way off the property were the descendants of William Hearst zoo collection, about a dozen ZEBRAS that still graze on the ranch!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vinny's New Found App

Every now and then when I pick up the iPhone or iPad and find that our data is nearly full.  This may be why.....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

When your preschool is little...and your mommy is the director, you sort of get special perks.  So when our numbers are down, I bring some of the little guys up to Pre-K with me for a treat.  On this day, Vinny and his best buddy Richie joined us for lunch.

The truth is, I had this turkey headband project on the agenda, and couldn't resist the chance to put one on Vinny, too.

Off to Phoenix for Thanksgiving at Tom and Weez's.  Our hearts were heavy with the memory of Joan's passing one year ago.  But we passed the day with really beautiful weather, food, drinks, and company.

How's THAT for a dining room?

Here's Vinny with his new buddy (and owner of just about all Vinny's hand-me-downs), Luke.  And note, just 24 hours with his big cousins James and Justin is about all it takes to forget about wearing a shirt.

Vinny loved sleeping over Aunt Weez's house and going to the neighborhood park...without a carseat!!!  Living on the edge!

 Future engineers?

Last year, we sent messages up to heaven for Mommo to catch.  Vinny drew her triangles because that's what he knew how to draw.  This year, he wrote his name all by himself.  He knew how proud Joan would be to read his name.  And she would.  To think about all that Vinny is learning and saying and doing these days.  I know she sees it all, but how I wish she were here for Vinny to share it with her.

Look at these 3.  How much bigger than Vinny they are.  Yet, when we roll into town, they drop everything to play with their little cousin.  We are so grateful for and proud of James and Justin.

Chillin' out with Uncle Tom.

Feeding James' turtle, which thanks to Vinny is now named Tom Brady.  While this didn't initially go over very well in this Giants/Eagles house, the name has stuck.  See, told ya those boys love Vinny.  He's got them wrapped around his chubby little finger!

Oh, the fish is Tom Brady, too.  

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