Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hob-Knobbing in LA

Anthony's job has it's perks.  As a sponsor of Alex's Lemonade Stand, a childhood cancer research foundation, Cigna offered tickets to this "celebrity/cheffy" event held at the Culver City Studios.  We had no idea at the time, but our tickets put us front and center for the speeches and action.  It was mostly b-list TV celebs, but who cares???  We ate delicious food, sipped foo-foo cocktails, and hob-knobbed with some of our favorite celebrity chefs.  Giada DeLaurentis swooned over Vinny, which was a highlight.  Here's Jimmy Kimmel as Master of Ceremonies.  He sat right next to me during the auction.  Like, right next to me.  

 Joe Mantegna sat one table over.

Vinny striking his Red Carpet pose.

Have I mentioned how much we love California?

Monday, September 17, 2012

OK, Here We Go...Lots of Catching Up To Do

Well, it's been a while since I've posted pictures.  Sadly, what used to take me hours now takes mere minutes.  What's the issue then you ask?  Well, the guilt of having so few pictures to weed through reminds me that I don't carry the camera often enough.  Even with the iPhone at our disposal, it seems life is just happening too fast and we miss the moment.  So what few pictures I do have on the camera sit there, waiting patiently for me to add some friends to the memory card.  And I procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate.  Nothing changes.

Except Vinny.

He is getting SO BIG, so fast.  I love and hate all at the same time.  I feel these baby days slipping away and I know I will never get them back.  Even if we had another baby, I will never have THESE baby days back.  Vinny is quick to remind me he is NOT a baby anymore, even telling his friend at school he can "call him Vincent now, since he is a big boy now."

So here are a bunch of pictures dating all the way back to June...keep scrolling and click on "older posts" until you get to the "Random" pictures.  I guess I do have a lot of pictures now that I think about it.


Finding Nemo

Took Vinny to his first 3D film, Finding Nemo.  The glasses lasted about half of the movie, and who can blame him.  They are annoying.  The film was beautiful, though.  Lots of detail I had not noticed the first 1000 times I've seen it.

On the way out of the theatre, the trolley happened to be chiming along, so...all aboard!

College Game Day

Here we are at the Rose Bowl.  Turns out the Rose Bowl is the actual name of the stadium UCLA plays in, not just the name of the New Year's Day tournament.  Hmm.  Who knew?  Stop shaking your head Anthony!

Anyway, we experimented with seeing how far we could take the idea of tailgating with Vinny...he was in good spirits, so into the crowd to find some tickets and see about getting onto the game.  Viola.  The stadium was huge and loud, and it was a great game.  Though not wanting to exit with 100,000 other fans, we left at after the 3rd quarter, missing the big win over Nebraska.  Great time!


We've been waiting all summer to check out Carsland at Disney's California Adventure.  It did not disappoint.  We felt like we were truly walking right in to the movie.  Everywhere you looked and listened, you felt like you were right there in Radiator Springs.

Here we are in Luigi's Casa della Tires waiting for the bumper tires ride.  Not a great ride actually, but the scenery was fun.

On to Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.  "A little crazy" according to Vinny, but he loved it.

We were there at the end of the day so we got to see the neon come to life just like in the movie, Cars.  Let's cruise, baby!

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Sure, Vinny attended preschool last year, but he was only 2.  Somehow this feels more real, more official.  3 equals preschool, right?  So he stood for his first obligatory First Day of School Photo and showed off his favorite lunchbox.  This was also the first and last time he will probably ever wear this shirt.  The reward for wearing it can be seen below.  I am not above bribery.

After school frozen yogurt date.  Chocolate only, please.

Back to School Meltdown

I speak of Pinterest a lot lately because it has rekindled my love affair with all things crafty.  Earlier this summer I made a couple crayon wreaths for the first day of school.  There were, and I mean were, adorable.  But in my haste to beautify the front doors of the preschool, I hung them up insisting to myself that the weather was cooling off.  So stupid.  20 minute project turned into a 3 hour hazmat cleanup.  Ugh.

Cheering On the Cousins

It had been a while since we'd gone back to AZ, so it was really comforting to see some family again.  Bill is getting settled into his new condo, which is really great.  Vinny loves Boppo's big pool!  It happened to be James' first game of the season, and we were lucky enough to cheer him on to Pinnacle's first win of the season!  "Go Big 1-8!" 

Then it was on to Justin's basketball game the next morning.  Vinny had more fun running around with Uncle Tom more than anything else though.

We tease James about losing favorite cousin status all in good fun.  The truth is, Justin takes very good care of Vinny, and clearly Vinny loves him.  Awww...

Best Buddy Birthday Party

Jayden has been Vinny's best buddy at preschool, but now that Jayden is in Kindergarten (yes, Vinny measures as big as a kindergartener), Vinny is a bit lost at the preschool.  So we did not want to miss Jayden birthday party when we got the invitation.  This party did not disappoint.  Remember that party we threw for Vinny's 2nd Birthday?  Thought that was over the top?  Umm, nope, not so much.  Turns out, Jayden's mom is a wedding planner.  So it was big.  Really big.

So here he is with his best buddy, Jayden.  Vinny 3.  Jayden 5.  Oh boy.

Culture shock.  Welcome to California.  This was taken early on, by the end of the day you couldn't even see the porch.

So we had the train.  Jayden had race cars, his favorite.  In fact he want to be a race car driver when he grows up.  I should know, I interviewed him for preschool graduation  :)  Anyway, Vinny started out hesitant to ride, but after one trip around the block, we couldn't get him off!

Race cars, bounce house, and those umbrellas back there?  Hot dog and cotton candy vendors. Inside there were cupcakes with Jibits (for you fans of Crocs), water bottles with checker flag bands, details details details.  

Let's Bowl!

One of the benefits of my Moms Club is having opportunities to participate in organized playdates with friends.  This was Vinny's first time bowing, and it was hilarious.  Hopefully I will figure out how to properly load the videos, since that's was I mainly filmed that afternoon.  Notice the hands...he held them still behind his back just like his until the ball struck the pins.  He then turned with an enthusiastic YES!

Buddy Time

Whale Watching

This time of year, so we were told, blue whales can be spotted off the Pacific coast.  So off to Long Beach we headed for our first west coast whale watch. 

A few sights in the harbor on the way out to sea.  Here's the Queen Mary.

The shipping docks.

A seagull keeping up with us.

We are STILL talking about the oil platforms, like in Cars 2.  We can see them from the beach, but now we had a close up view.

And our FIRST BLUE WHALE SIGHTING!  We tell we were close when the captain and the crew started high fiving each other in the bridge.  In all, we saw 9 huge blue whales surface.  It was amazing.  they are so big, you don't actually see their tails, just the long arch of their backs.

They are called blue whales because of that bright blue glow you see (below) just under the surface of the water.  That was one of the signals we were told to look for when spotting them in the ocean.

And the spray of course!

Farmers' Market Fun

One of the best things about living in California is shopping at the local farmers' markets.  The produce is amazing and so fresh.  I suppose it does take time to ship food all over the country, but to think how long these veggies last in our fridge compared to those from the grocery store.  Makes you think, just how old is the produce in the stores?  Vinny samples everything we offer him when we go, just wish he'd eat it with as much enthusiasm once we get it all home.  But hey, at least it's something!

Milestone Alert

We are not above bribery.  Haircuts are a nightmare, so in order to entice him, we promised Vinny a trip to Chuck E Cheese.  He's become more and more intrigued with the place since they advertise on the Disney Channel all day long.  Anyway, he obliged when asked to go to the haircut shop and off we went to celebrate the haircut with no tears.  And thus his very first trip to the grossest restaurant on the planet.  Ick,  I'm not a germ-a-phobe by any means, but even this place gave me the heeby jeebies.

Anyway, Vinny didn't care.  He loved it.  So what's a trip to Chuck E Cheese without a little Whack-A-Mole?

All those tickets and all he got were these two dinky toys.  But that smile?  All worth it!

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