Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bon Jovi...Check!

This past weekend I crossed something off of my bucket list....seeing Bon Jovi in concert!!

Bon Jovi is one of my favorites (more the older music than the current stuff) and I've always wanted to see them in concert. A few months ago I heard that they were going on tour so I went on the website and looked up the details. Unfortunately, they weren't coming anywhere near us. I was bummed.

Right around Feb 1st, a friend of mine in Buffalo posted on facebook "I have 2 tickets for Bon Jovi for sale if interested". I emailed her right away asking where the concert was, etc....and found out it was in Buffalo! And even was on a Sunday night!  Apparently Buffalo was a last minute add-in show. The concert was announced, then a few days later tickets went on sale and then the concert was not even a month later.

I went online and looked for tickets through ticketmaster and it was pretty much sold out unless you wanted to spend a mere fortune and sit on the floor or sit up in the nosebleeds behind the stage. After texting Gabe a ton and him making a phone call to his parents, we bought the tickets from her! I was so, so excited!!

The concert was on Sunday and Gabe's parents took the kids around 3pm and kept them overnight (Cassandra's first sleepover...and she did great!!). We went out to dinner in Buffalo with my Mom, Aunt Pat, Uncle Joe and Aunt Marion before the show then headed downtown.

I was a little worried about our seats because we were at the opposite end of the stage. I was afraid we wouldn't see much, but really, the seats were great. Yeah the stage was far away, but they had the jumbo-tron right in front of us so you could see everything up on the big screen. Really the sucky seats were the ones on the sides because they were equally as far from the stage and had no screen to watch. And I think they were more expensive!!

The concert was scheduled to start at 7:30 but they didn't start until about 8:10 (and there was no opening act). They ended up playing until 10:45 with no break! It was an awesome, awesome show!! They played some new songs from their new album which hasn't even been released yet, and of course lots of oldies as well! We had a really great time! I'm so glad I got to finally see him play live!

This is the playlist from the concert, courtesy of the website:
  1. Bad Name
  2. Lost Highway
  3. Blood on Blood
  4. Because We Can
  5. Water Made Me
  6. It's My Life
  7. When We Were Beautiful
  8. What About Now
  9. We Got It Going On
  10. Keep The Faith
  11. Amen
  12. Saturday Night
  13. I'll Be There For You
  14. Captain Crash
  15. We Weren't Born To Follow
  16. Army Of One
  17. Wanted
  18. Who Says You Can't Go Home
  19. Bad Medicine
  20. Make A Memory
  21. In These Arms
  22. Born To Be My Baby
  23. Sleep When I'm Dead
  24. Have A Nice Day
  25. Runaway
  26. Prayer

Monday, February 25, 2013

Thirteen Months Old!

On Saturday, Cassandra turned thirteen months old! We're out of monthly stickers, but I wanted to take her photo for the first 2yrs like I did with Avery!  And of course I forgot on Saturday so I took them today instead....oops!

Her clothing hasn't changed much since last month. She's wearing mostly 9 month clothing, some 12month stuff depending what it is. She's in size 3 diapers for daytime and 4's for overnight.

She's still sleeping through the night-typically 11-12 hours total. Sometimes she wakes up, but rarely do we have to go in-only if she's sick or something. She's still napping twice a day as well! Some days she'll only take one, but that has decreased as well. I'm hoping she hangs onto 2 for awhile since Avery cut out her naps so darn early it seemed! 

She's down to nursing twice a day now-wake up and bedtime. I'm giving her breastmilk in a sippy cup for lunch and dinner now and she's doing really well with it so far. I'm still working on my freezer stash and once that gets down a little lower, I'll start adding in some whole milk for her.

Cassandra has 3 meals a day-mostly all "real" food. I'll confess that I'm still buying some jars of food for her mostly because she only has 4 teeth! And I think it's a convenience thing-opening a jar is so much easier sometimes, especially if we're out and about. But honestly I don't use them much-maybe one jar a week!

I'll admit that I'm slacking in keeping track of her new foods lately. The big thing Cassandra tried this month was peanut butter. I made her a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and she does like it! That's all I can think of....I really give her anything that we're eating to try and for the most part, she eats it! She rarely refuses something.

New things she's doing this month....she has some new signs: "thank you" and "drink". She has a few new words as well: "all done", "uh oh", "more", "buddy", "cool", "hi", "good". Not all of them are perfect, but they're consistent and we know what she's saying!  I love hearing them start to say new things-it's so darn cute! She has also started pulling up to stand and is crusing around on the furniture. We've tried holding her hands to walk and most of the time she isn't interested-she just tries to sit back down! Silly girl! One funny thing was that Gabe and Cassandra got home from work (Avery and I were home already) and as soon as they walked in the door, she yelled out "HI!!!" It was her first time saying "Hi" and it was so cute and so perfect!  I have to say that she really is copying everything that we say these days! I love it!!

Here are her photos....she wasn't very cooperative today at all for these!

I think she started crying because she wanted the camera! I don't think I have a single picture of her crying so I figured why not?!
And my faves from the group....

Photo shoot take 2 at bedtime, hoping she was in a better mood!
Her new fave face-cracks me up!!

After she does the "Oh" face (above), she then does this face-it's her new thing!'s Avery at thirteen months old!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cooking Class

        Gabe's birthday was back right after Christmas and I had no idea what to get him. At his holiday party earlier in December, one of the prizes they gave away was a gift certificate to the New York Wine and Culinary Center. Gabe said that he really would like to win I had an idea for his birthday! I ended up signing us up for the Ultimate Couple's Cooking Class. They were booked pretty far out so the first class we could attend was tonight-2 months later!

    My Mom came out to babysit the kids and we left our house around 5...the class started at 6 and it was a good 40min. drive there.  When we got there, we walked around a little bit and looked in the gift shop and wine shop before heading to where our class was.

     We saw the menu for the night ahead of time-we were going to prepare an appetizer and 3 different entrees. We went in thinking we were going to learn how to do all of them, but that's not how it works. 

      The room had 3 huge islands set up and 4 couples were at each island.  Each couple was responsible for making one thing. We decided to choose a station that we might actually cook again at home, which was the stuffed chicken station.

     When the class started, the chef went over a few knife techniques with us, talked a little bit about the "lay of the land" in the room, and then briefly reviewed each recipe that we were doing. Then we were set free to cook!

      Our dish was pretty easy-it was breaded chicken breasts stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella cheese that was served with a white wine sauce. And it turned out delicious!  After about an hour of cooking or so, we then got to grab a plate and do a family style dinner of everything our island made!  The appetizer was vegetable spring rolls and the entrees were tuna steak, duck breast, and our chicken of course. One station also made a very simple salad and another station made a vegetable strudel.  The dessert (baklava) was pre-made by the chef for us. They also had both red and white wine to accompany the dinner.

     I will say that all of the food was fantastic! It was my first time trying duck and it was really good-I even had a second helping!  We were a little disappointed that we only learned how to do one meal, but it would have been impossible to do all of them in only a 2 hour class. But they did send us home with all of the recipes so we could try them at home if we really wanted to! 

     Overall I think it was a lot of fun!  Definitely something different to try and a night away from the kids!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bittersweet Day

It's a bittersweet day for me today....

It's my first day of not pumping at work.

It starts off as such a chore-I was doing it 3 times a shift when I first went back!  Then it was twice a shift for awhile and probably for the past 2 months it's just been once a shift. That chore sort of became my "break" from everything-just me in an office doing my thing in peace and quiet. It becomes an escape almost.

My half hour lunch break for the past 10 months has consisted of pumping and shoveling my food in my mouth. I'm glad to have that time to actually eat now and I'm looking forward to warmer weather so I can actually go outside and walk a bit. I really missed that all last summer. I have no windows really near me so I never have a clue what's going on outside all day long. So that'll be nice to be able and get out here and there.

Of course part of it saddens me that this chapter in my life is closed. My baby is growing up and soon enough will be fully weaned. This week I'm cutting out her final nap session so she'll be down to nursing just at bedtime and first thing in the morning. Part of me is screaming "Freedom!" and  the other part of me is sad. Such is life.

It definitely was strange going into work and leaving work today with one less bag...I totally felt like I was forgetting something all day long. And since it's freezing out, I didn't go walking and actually found myself sort of bored during lunch! 

I'm sure I'll find something to do with my time.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Love One

I somehow forgot how much I love the age one.
I swear I forgot this stage with Avery-I barely remember her not talking, not walking, etc. And her as an infant?! Yeah, totally blocked out of my mind. I think the lack of sleep when they're newborns plays a part in that.

Anyways, this age/stage that Cassandra is at is one of my favorites.
Cassandra knows what we're saying, yet can't really communicate back (which is nice sometimes-haha!). She has a few actual words and a few signs, but really she doesn't come out and use them on her own. She mostly just repeats you when you say them. And I love hearing her starting to say words-it's so much fun!

Cassandra hasn't started the tantrum phase yet although I have a feeling it's on the horizon! With Avery having meltdowns daily, you forget that there is an age where they don't do that yet! It's definitely not as challenging as the 2-3yr stage, that's for sure!
my new trick!
She's mobile enough to get what she wants, but not so mobile that I'm ripping my hair out. Basically, she's crawling and not walking yet.
She's pretty independent-wants to feed herself and plays by herself really well....
Yet she's still my baby girl who comes crawling to Mama for a snuggle. I love watching her explore and discover the world around her. To be able to see things through her eyes would be amazing!
Her little personality is starting to show now and the little person inside is emerging. She does so many cute things these days (pic below included) and I could just eat her up!
If I could freeze time, I totally would right now! I just want her to stay this way awhile longer....please?!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pizza Dip

Gabe's cousin made this for a holiday party this year and ohmygosh....I'm addicted! Let's just say that I've made it 3 times since then and can't wait to make it again!  Everytime we've had company over since then, I've made it. And I'll probably make it again when we host something. It's so easy and so delicious! This would have been perfect for the Super Bowl too (wish I had gotten it up sooner!)....but honestly you don't need a "big game" to make this stuff! What are you waiting for?! Make this!

Pizza Dip

8oz Cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan
black olives
additional toppings if desired

1. Combine cream cheese, garlic, oregano, basil, parsley until well mixed.

2. Spread into 9" pie pan (or any other dish roughly that size). Sprinkle with 1/2 of the parmesan and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese.

3. Top with sauce and add remaining cheese

4. Top with pepperoni and olives (and other toppings if desired)

5. Bake at 350 for 20min or until cheese lightly browns and bubbles.
(Notes: I used regular cream cheese once and fat free another time and it tasted just as good with the fat free. I used the pepperoni chunks/bits that are already cut up for you. And if I used olives, I sliced them really thin like on a pizza! I've been serving it with the Stacy's bare naked pita chips and it's really good and addicting!)

Saturday, February 2, 2013


This is how things have been around here these days....
I said the girls could stay healthy until after Cassandra's birthday party.

Well...they listened, but on Monday morning they both woke up sick. Stuffy noses and coughs galore.  Gabe went out after work on Monday and I got Cassandra in bed just fine. Avery was exhausted (even after napping in the afternoon which she rarely does these days!) so I took her up to bed. Got her all ready-PJ's on, teeth brush, book read, lights almost off....

....and she pukes.


Somehow my face got spared. The pillow I was lying on? Covered. The blankets/sheets around me? Covered. Somehow I manged not to get a single drop on me.

So here I am stripping her bed down to the mattress and hauling it all downstairs while she's sitting on the floor rocking and tired. I make her bed with clean everything and finally she goes to sleep. Luckily for us, it was a one time deal and she didn't puke again.

She did, however, run a fever from Tues-Thurs....of course on the days I have to work! Why they wait until one of us has to take a day off is beyond me, but it happens all of the time! 

The fever is finally gone, but she's still not well....very congested, runny nose, coughing. Cassandra luckily never got the fever, but she's just as bad with the congestion and coughing. She hasn't been sleeping well because as soon as she lies down, she coughs. So naps haven't been too good this week at all. Avery, on the other hand, has napped every day! And has gone to bed at pretty decent times. Whatever she has is kicking her butt! 

Today we spent the day in Buffalo (I had a baby shower to attend) and Gabe woke up not feeling too hot this morning.....guess he gets to join in the "fun"!  I (knock on wood) have been spared so far and am hoping it stays that way.

The sickness needs to's been a long week!

UPDATE on 2/'s my turn! Stuffy nose, cough, fever....blah.