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Friday, December 31, 2010

LA Zoo baby!

Let me tell you a little something about my upbringing: for some odd reason, I always had the impression that crossing over the county lines from Orange County to LA was comparable to taking a leap into the abyss of the underworld. Weird, I know. To that I'd like to say "thanks, parents of Orange County, for scaring the heck out of us children by telling us that we will be 'shot up on the block' if we step foot into the 'gangland.'" Haha my point is, there are lots of fabulous places to visit in the County of Angels! When I was pregnant, Chad and I took a little trip up to the tar pits, which was interesting. Step two in our quest to discover our neighbors to the North was to take the little man on a trip to the LA Zoo! We had such a great time! We taught Carter how to make sounds like a monkey, showed him how NOT to behave in public (many a-brat throwing many a-fit), and we got good cardio workouts from all those hills. Here are a few of the best:

After our little safari, we took off to quite possibly the world's BEST hamburger hut, TOMMY'S! All you creatures of tradition, this place has been around for about 65 years or something crazy like that, and I'm obsessed. It's this big cheesey, chili-filled, mountain of delicious goodness. You can get out and eat it standing up on their bar type eating stations, or, like us, you can eat it in your car. Everytime I go there, I'm NEVER disappointed. LA would not be complete without a trip to good old Tommy's!

That's Chadly displaying the loot!

So, all and all, the week Chad had off work was filled with adventures, holiday fun, and LOTS of relaxing. The TV we put into our room has served us well, as I am typing in bed as we speak and it's 11:30 am with The View on pause (a mom's got to take it where she can get it!). I hope everyone's holidays were just fabulous, and have a WONDERFUL and SAFE New Years Eve! Muah!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lots of merry making going on around here......

Here is our first Christmas card as a family! Last year I was on the verge of delivering any minute so Chad and I were never able to send one out, but this year, because of the wedding, we had hundreds of pictures to choose from! (Chad and I got married May 29, 2009, but waited to celebrated with all of our family and friends until June 19, 2010).

Christmas Eve was great at the Cisneros home as always. We had a HUGE meal, complete with turkey, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes and hand made bread from Grandma Cisneros herself. It was great! Chad made stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer, and all was jolly. Carter had a great time playing with his cousins, and I stuffed my face with pin wheel cookies. Story of my life, I only got a few pictures, but here are a few of the best!

On to Christmas Day. 2010 was by far THE BEST Christmas Day I think I've ever had. It was just so simple and cozy! The only downside was that when I went to get Carter out of his crib, he must of had some sort of allergic reaction throughout the night. The poor little guys eyes were so swollen it looked like he was still asleep! Poor little dude. (Two months ago Carter had an allergic reaction to a peanut butter cookie - I know, I know. It's not recommended to give a baby peanut butter younger than 1 years of age, but I honestly forgot it was even peanut butter! I was just thinking of it as a cookie. His eyes got super swollen and his face broke out in these white blisters. His body was also covered in hives. It was by far the scariest day of my life. - Anyway, that literally was the ONLY bad thing about the day.

After shooting the little man up with some Benadryl, I proceeded into the living room on my way to the kitchen to feed Carter. Oh my goodness, did I have a few surprises awaiting me there! Chad had gotten up in the middle of the night and brought Santa toys! I was so surprised! We had such a great time opening presents!

That picture of Notre Dame is comprised of all of our honey pictures! It was the sweetest gift, and I can't believe Chad thought of that! What a great guy! The framed finger painting Chad and Carter made for me actually made me cry. Yep, I was bawling. It was just so nice!

Next, was our impromptu dinner party with Grandpa Ernie. I was pretty dang proud of the center piece I through together out of two bed dust ruffles and a few pine cones :)

Chad made a full Christmas dinner with ham, scalloped potatoes, his stuffed mushrooms again, and stuffing.

As you can see, it was a great couple of days. Now we have toys coming out of our ears and still one more holiday party to attend. What a great way to end a great year :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Carter's birthday celebration!

Since I had his birthday party so early (December 5th), we decided it would be a good idea to gather our immediate families for a mini birthday celebration the night before his actual birthday (December 23rd). At first I had this elaborate plan to cook an entire traditional Christmas meal complete with a ham, mashed potatoes and yams. But as the day approached, my quick-on-his-feet thinking husband suggested in order to alleviate some stress, why don't we just have pizza? A big slap in the back is what I gave him and said "Good thinking, babe!"

So it was a great night of wine, pizza and relaxation with our hilarious families! Carter was having a great time with his little cousin, Tessa, and the mood was splendid! The best part was that there were NO DISHES, leaving me free to laugh uncontrollably with the good old sister. Here are some pictures of our mini celebration.

And then came D-Day. The day my little man turned into a toddler. It was a great day because he was in such a great mood, but I have to say I almost cried sporatically throughout the day. I held it in though, like a trooper, but it just went by so fast! It was just insane. Talk about an easy baby and, hopefully, an even easier toddler! Here's him opening up his first present! (He was super reluctant to rip it open, which was so surprising!)

Our original plan was to take a trip to Disneyland, just the three of us, but that fell through for some reason. Then we were going to go to see Santa via the Irvine train, but that didn't work out either! So we took off for South Coast Plaza and took a ride on the carousel! Carter had a death grip on my neck, so he was a little freaked out, but it was so adorable!

Then it was to Old St. Nick we went!

For all you parents out there, I DO NOT recommend visiting Santa on the 23rd of December. It's just NOT good idea. We just did it because it was his birthday, but NEVER AGAIN! We waited in line for an hour and a half. That's all I need to say.

After some lap-sittin, we headed over to the Macaroni Grill, where Carter was able to color on the table! Chad and I got a half-off bottle of wine (I think I deserved some props for hitting the one year mark of that 13 hour labor!), and we had a fabulous dinner.

A perfect way to celebrate a most perfect day :)

Holiday pictures FINALLY!

Now that my camera has corrected whatever the heck was wrong with it on it's own, it's DEFINITELY time for some pictures on this here blog! Also the fact that I haven't been around here in quite some time, (over a week!), I have some pretty serious blog-worthy subjects to discuss!

Let's take a trip back in time (well, only a few weeks haha). Now that I have actual pictures to post, I need to explain every minute of the best holiday season I have experienced thus far. First off: Our fabulous tree!

Seeing as I've mentioned many a-time on here about our cramped quarters, we originally planned to get ourselves a tasteful little shrub of an alpine, but once we were actually in the official Christmas tree lot, Chad and I resorted to our old motto of "bigger is always better." So we got ourselves an outrageously massive tree. In order to accomodate, we had to rearrange all the furniture, which has actually been a great change. Well, as soon as we made a home for the good old pine, she started to shed. The floor of our apartment has been covered in pine needles (that my vaccuum cleaner won't pick up due to a lack of suction), for the past few weeks. The tree has barely drinken any water, and we are a bit worried it might combust into flames at any second. But, on the flip side, it's a fabulous tree and I'm glad we decided to go big. Here are some photos from beginning to just before Christmas Day (pictures to follow for the actual day of!).

Anyway, on to my garland I'm so excited about. Since we don't have a mantle, we had to hang out stockings on something! Luckily I ran across this $10 garland at good old Target!

Next off, Palm Springs! I barely got any pictures here, but here is one with Carter's cousin Leah! She knitted him this nifty beanie!

I'm super SUPER happy I can finally post pictures one here, so watch out for a million more posts! I already have two in mind, so try not to get annoyed with my over-the-top mushiness regarding the holidays and my boys! Woo!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Times are a-changin . . .

I think I can officially say that my little man has rounded the corner into some devious activity. Carter, light of my life, angel-pie-face that he is, has taken to throwing minor fits and has discovered the fun in banging objects against mirrors, floors, and any other surface you can think of around the apartment. You may be thinking that he is just a baby and can be expected to do things such as this, but just one week ago these ideas would never have entered his little head! I blame it on us teaching him how to whip his wash cloth in the bath to make the water spray everywhere. He now has a vendetta against anything breakable!

I realize these fits may be partially my fault. When I was pregnant I swore that I would never be that mom who would hold their baby so often it would debilitate me from running to the store. Well, I tried to put him down as often as possible but I just had to hold him! So now I need to work backwards and try to get him okay with me putting him down. The weird thing is he has never thrown a fit about anything! Once he is playing on his own, all is well, but the initial set-down has become pretty rough. My poor baby!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I love . . . .

Days like today!

What a great day it has been. First Chad got Carter out of bed and let me sleep for a good 2.5 seconds longer. He brought the little man in and I woke up to a big, toothy smile! Then Chadly took off for his last final for the semester before work, and we played around. Good old Grandpa Frank came over and we talked for a good hour and a half or so while Carter rumbled and tumbled around us, then when Papacito took off, I put the little man down for a two hour nap (woohoo!). Once I was happily sitting on the couch amongst the mess which was my living room, I crept on the Face and scoped out everyones blogs :) When he woke up we went on a walk, then took a trip to the grocery store, then I headed over to Purebarre to sub two classes! I came home to pizza and chicken wings waiting for me! Chad gave the little man a bottle and now we are sitting here watching Brew Masters! Great day!

Other things I love:

-stockings hanging from my garland!
-Christmas tree lights!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Just a few Holiday odds and ends :)

Well, let me just say, my camera just broke, so I can't post any pictures of anything I ever talk about! It's such a bummer and I'm really sorry everyone has to just read about everything instead of seeing it! It's no bueno, but anyways......

My little humble abode is almost done being decked with Christmas cheer! Here is what we have done so far in preparation for the best holiday of the year!

1. I hung a lighted garland over our fireplace since we don't have a mantle. I stuck little ornaments on a few of the branches for some extra oomph! Then I hung out three matching stockings on it all! I'm looking at it right now and I love it <3

2. We got our tree! We are a little shmooshed in our living room because we got a 6 foot douglas fir and it dominates haha. Now our furniture is rearranged, so it's a little tight in here. Chadly finished stringing the lights while I was at work, and we have yet to hang the ornaments, but it's quite lovely :)

3. I made a cute wreath compliments of thepleatedpoppy :) Love that lady! Here is a picture of her version, but I used a green crazy wreath and put up gold ornaments:

4. Finally, I plan on doing this for our little dinner party, also compliments of thepleatedpoppy :

Hopefully Gina and I will get our acts together and make some Christmas pillows, which is what we planned for, but who knows haha! Anyway, loving this time of year with my little family :) I hope everyone is having an equally amazing holiday season!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happily Disconnected

This last weekend the little man and I packed up on Friday afternoon and headed out to the desert to spend some quality time with the Cisneros family. Chad had to work both Saturday and Sunday (bummer) and he had a monstrous amount of school work to complete before finals really set in, so in the spirit of giving him some time alone we spent two nights in Palm Springs at the time share! The Cisneros's have been spending a week every December out there for the past 20 years, so it was quite special that now the third generation (Carter!) gets to experience P-Springs like his Dad did when he was a little one :)

When I hit the windmills, Maggie (my sister-in-law) texted me saying I should come by the new toffee shop before I settled in with Grandpa C. So I hopped off the free way at Bob Hope and made my merry way to the old Coco's that Brandini Toffee now calls home. (Brandini Toffee was started by Chad's niece when her and her friend were trying to pay their way to Italy for a class trip. I believe they were 14 or 15 at the time, so the fact that the company has blown up into what it is today is just amazing. They are now sophomores in college!). After getting blown away at how large their operation has become in the past few years, I put poor Carter back in the car and headed to our weekend hideaway.

There everyone got their Carter fix, and I got to exercise and read which is quite a luxury! All in all, it was a great weekend where I was happily disconnected from my laptop (even though I did miss blogging). Now it's time to get our tree decorated and enjoy ourselves :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An update on my style revolution

It's been a couple weeks since I decided to throw my lazy dressing habits out the window and I decided it's time to give an update on how that's been holding up. So far, since I wrote about trying to dress better, I've only not worn make-up twice and those two days were the only days in which I decided to throw on sweats instead of jeans! I have to say that's a HUMONGOUS improvement from where I was coming from in the clothing department! It really does make you feel better about the day when you force yourself out of your sloth-like ways and apply some mascara.

When I was living in the sorority house, if someone was having a bad day, one of my wise sisters would always put her arm around Bad-Day-Betty and tell her to go do her make-up because life will look a lot better with some mascara. Back in the day I thought that sounded like a hassle, but it really is the truth! Anyway, that's my update on my dressing revolution!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Carter's first birthday partay!

The 5th of December brought us lots of happiness as it was the day we chose to celebrate our little one's first birthday! We held the party at Chad's parent's house in Yorba Linda and invited both sides of the family. We had a great turn out which meant LOTS of great presents for Carter! Chad and I started marinating carne asada a couple of days before the big day, so the food was fabulous and my man was having a good time at the grill! Here's how the day unfolded:

We woke up with the little man around 7:30ish and I cleaned the house so that way we could come home to calmness instead of chaos while Chadly ran to the store for a few last minute things. Around 10:00ish we headed over to the Cisneros home and put the little man down for a quick nap before the madness got going. I started decorating while Chad and his dad got everything out of the car. We went with a sports theme with an emphasis on the CHARGERS! Chad was so excited he was going nuts! Thank goodness G-Funk (my sister!) came over around 11:30ish with the balloons to help me decorate (she has a way better eye for decorating than I do). Before I knew it it was 12:45 (15 minutes before the partay was set to begin) and Carter was still asleep! I ran upstairs to wake him up and change him into his birthday outfit and headed downstairs to join the first few guests who were arriving! He was such a great baby the entire day! I thought for sure that we would see some tears at some point, but he was awesome! Chad started cooking around 1:45 so we ate around 2:30 (many thanks to my mama, my MIL and her bff Jean - without them who knows how the sides would have turned out!). Speaking of sides we went with a ME-HE-CANO theme with rice and beans and a few other fabulous dishes! Right after we ate it was the big moment when Carter was supposed to dig into the cake! I totally thought he would go nuts, but he was super resistant and didn't even crack a smile! Chad had to push his hands into the cake and even that made him mad! So we wrapped up the digging-into-the-cake session quickly and moved on to opening presents! He sure did sweep in a heck of a lot of new toys because I'm sitting amongst all the boxes right now in my living room! Grandma and Grandpa Paplia gave him a cool ride-along Thomas the Train and Grandma and Grandpa Cisneros gave him a huge lion rug! He loved every single present. Needless to say, the day was a great success!

Now it's on to the next dinner party at our humble abode! I have to say that I'm pretty dang excited that I'm throwing my second dinner partay within the same holiday season! The first one was for the Cisneros crowd, but this one is for a combo of the Cisneros's and the Paplia's! It's going to be the night before Carter's actual birthday (December 23rd), and it will just a be a little celebration of what we were all doing a year ago! I'm excited and I just love throwing these parties! They're a lot of work but a heck of a lot of fun!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Carter's Almost 1!

Along with the most exciting season of the year (HAPPY DECEMBER EVERYONE!), it's my perfect little bundle of joy's birthday time! He will officially be 1 years old on December 23, but we are having his birthday party on the 5th in order to accomodate all family members! I'm so excited for this coming Sunday I can hardly contain myself! It's going to be a great day filled with people we love and who love us :)

It's funny because it was on this day last year (December 2nd) that I worked my last day at Ricca Donna Salon in Brea. I loved working there! It was a great atmosphere and what was even more awesome was that my hair stylist was only 2 weeks behind me in her pregnancy, and another stylist was 3 months behind us! So we were always talking about baby issues such as whether or not to get the H1N1 shot (hahaha oh, we were debating for weeks!), our plans for going into labor early, and just about everything else you can think of when you're expecting your first baby! My due date was December 11th, so I figured I was giving myself just enough time to finish up the school semester and sit on my lilly pad awaiting a contraction or two.

Little did I know that I would NOT go into labor on my own despite my best efforts. I walked probably 50 miles between December 2nd and December 11th, at which point I was exhausted and cranky because I was humongous and I wasn't even experiencing the smallest cramp! It was also terrible because that's when Chad and I lived in Yorba Linda and in order to visit my family in Mission Viejo I ran the risk of going into labor too far away from the hospital! I know now that those fears were a little off base, but with your first bambino you can never be too cautious!

Another thing that put me in a bad mood was when Chad and I went to my doctor's appointment on December 11th only to find out that I had not dilated 1 centimeter! After that appointment Chad had to go to work and I was left alone to sulk. On our next doctors appointment (I was a week overdue), good old Dr. B informed us that I still had not dilated, and that I was welcome to come on in to the hospital that night at 7:00 to start the induction process. We were so excited, but I all of a sudden got super nervous. So that night we went to dinner with Mama Paplia and Vince (my little brother), and off we headed to the hospital (which is when I burst into tears because I was so anxious). The next morning the doctor broke my water and we started the pitocin at 8:00 am and I delivered after a super easy labor at 9:12 pm. He was 8 lbs. 7 oz.s and 21 inches long! His foot was so big it wouldn't even fit in the little spot allotted for the foot print! His head was also the most perfect shape I had ever seen on a new born baby! It was a great day and man, did I hit the hay after the delivery when he was safe in the nursery!

The next day was Christmas Eve, and that night after all the visitors left we watched the Disneyland fireworks from our hospital room and had california burritos from Rigobertos (which I found out later I was not supposed to eat because it was incompatible with nursing! Oops!). On Christmas Day I will never forget the drive home from St. Jude's! It was hilarious! Chad was driving about 12 miles per hour the entire way down Yorba Linda Blvd., where my mom and the Cisneros's awaited our arrival! It was a fabulous couple of days! And now my little man is 1 years old! Where the heck did the time go??
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