Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve!

For your entertainment pleasure: Dave Barry's Year in Review. Don't have time to read the entire piece because you have big New Year's plans? (Well, aren't you special...) The highlights:

February. . . when South Florida hosts Super Bowl Roman Numeral. Because of concern over terrorism, security is extremely tight, particularly outside South Beach nightclubs, where large bouncers refuse to let any terrorists inside unless they are really hot. After what feels like three months of pregame festivities, an actual game is played, pitting the Chicago Bears against the Indianapolis Peyton Mannings. What begins as a close contest is broken wide open in the third quarter when the Bears defense is unable to stop a 1993 Buick LeSabre driven by 87-year-old North Miami Beach resident Winifred Bingleman, who took a wrong turn on her way to mah-jongg. She is immediately signed by the Miami Dolphins.

But the biggest story in June, as well as the history of the universe, is the release of the Apple iPhone, which, in addition to enabling you to make phone calls, has all kinds of brilliant and innovative features, including AutoFondle, an application that enables the iPhone to fondle itself during those times when you are unable to fondle it manually because you're sleeping or undergoing surgery from wounds you sustained when friends or co-workers finally lost it and beat you senseless to make you shut up about your freaking iPhone already.

September... In Las Vegas, O.J. Simpson, an ordinary citizen minding his own business and exercising his basic constitutional right to retrieve sports memorabilia from somebody else's hotel room with the aid of armed thugs, somehow runs afoul of the law. He insists he is innocent, but winds up facing trial on robbery and kidnapping charges that could send him to jail for a life term, after which he will undoubtedly be signed by the Miami Dolphins.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!

Why the TBS 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story could be construed as a near occasion of sin:

Bittyman's favorite phrase is now, "I double dog dare ya!"
Bittyman can not eat mashed potatoes without making piggy noises.
And of course, Bittyman now wants an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.

All of which are driving Diva Mom over the edge and farther into the container of Christmas Crack.

(Thanks, Grandmai, for the better post title!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours,
wishing you
this Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Meme

Saw this over at Orthometer and thought I'd play!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
A bit of both, depending on the awkwardity of the present size. (Yes, I know that's not a real word. It should be.)

2. Real or artificial tree? Love real. Miss real. But learned the hard way our second Christmas in the desert that spending $75 for a real tree is no guarantee it will not become tinder within a week. Had to take said tree down Christmas night before it spontaneously combusted. Bought an artificial the next day and have been using it ever since.

3. When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving weekend. I have no problem with having decorations up during Advent.

4. When do you take the tree down? No sooner than the Epiphany.

5. Do you like egg nog? Hell no. Seriously. That's just disgusting.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? The dollhouse my father built.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Yes. A collection from Fontanini which we add to every year and a Little People Nativity for the boys to play with.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My husband and my father. They receive lots of Packers and Bills stuff for lack of other ideas.

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Maybe not worst, but funniest. When we were first married Dan went into Lane Bryant looking to buy me some sweaters for Christmas. Dan had no idea Lane Bryant was a plus-size woman's store. He asked the saleswoman, "My wife is 5'7" and weighs 120 pounds - what size would she wear?" Said saleswoman proceeded to sell him several sweaters in size 16/18.

When I returned the sweaters the day after Christmas I called the saleswoman on the carpet for trying to make a quick sale to an unsuspecting husband when she should have pointed him next door to The Limited.

(Explanation for the men who are reading this going, 'huh'? Any woman on the planet could tell you that a 5'7', 120-pound female wears a size 6. Saleslady totally punked Dan. And no, I'm not 120 lbs. anymore. But I am psyched to be at pre-Bittyman weight. Good enough for Diva Mom.)

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? This year I'm doing a web card... if I can find time to finish it today.

11. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life. (Yeah, that's two movies. So? It's my meme.)

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Early fall I start keeping my eye out for good deals.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I plead the 5th.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peppermint Mochas and Christmas Crack.

15. Clear lights or colored lights on the tree? Clear.

16. Favorite Christmas song? Sacred, O Holy Night. Secular, Mary Did You Know.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home. Thanksgiving is for traveling.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? I've been a professional Christmas Caroler for 11 years. I'll sing them to you.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One Christmas Eve after Mass. The majority Christmas morning. Grandma & Grandpa I's gifts when they arrive on January 5.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The overused, politically correct phrase, 'Happy Holidays'.

22. Best thing about this time of year? Watching Bittyman's head trying not to explode from excitement. And Ittyboy try his darnedest to crawl to get the Christmas tree. And the music. All Christmas music, all the time, from Thanksgiving weekend through the Epiphany!

I tag anyone who is so ready for Christmas that they have time to read this meme! (Me, I'm just procrastinating. Cleaning, wrapping, and website-creating all await me.)

We Are Blessed

To the anonymous Angel(s) who sent us the very generous Costco gift card, thank you. We will be lighting a candle for you at Mass tonight. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Foto Friday

Sorry blogging has been light during Advent. But between working as a professional Christmas Caroler:

Shuttling to rehearsals and performance of our parish's Christmas Pageant:

And all the Christmas festivities:

We're all ready to settle down for a long winter's nap:

The Gospel According to Yoda

Bittyman: "Mom, you're a great Mommy!"
Diva Mom: "Awww, thanks, Bitty. I try."
Bittyman: "You don't try, Mom, you do!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12 Days Worth Listening To

(Thanks to Rachel at Testosterhome!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

'Tis the Season to Give!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Black and Blue Christmas

Dear Grandparents, Great Aunt, Aunts & Uncles and Godparents,

Please accept this I.O.U. for one professional picture of the boys as their Christmas gift to you. The photo will not arrive by the 25th of December.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Bittyman and the shiner he received when his head collided with the bed frame two days before our scheduled appointment at Kiddie Kandids. (The picture does not do justice to the injury in spite of Bitty's 'tough guy' face.)

Blessings this Christmas Season,

Monday, December 10, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas
Tuesday: Italian Sausage Subs, Caprese Salad
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Friday: Pasta and Bean Skillet

It was a crazy busy weekend for me and I only had menus planned through Wednesday. A big thanks to Sharon at The Bird's Nest - I'm borrowing two of your recipes to round out my week!

If you're looking for menu ideas there are at last count 157 other Menu Plan Monday participants at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

St. Nicholas of Myra (4th century)
Nicholas was a priest, an abbot, and a bishop of Myra. Once, he helped a poor family by dropping bags of gold coins in a window, landing in a stocking hung up to dry. Thus, the story of Santa Claus was born. He was known for his holiness, zeal, and astonishing miracles–even raising people from the dead.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!

(Thanks, Sharon at The Bird's Nest!)

Random Photo Post

Picture that won't be making the Christmas webpage.

Itty 1, Squash 0

Daddy & Bitty's Handiwork

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Crock Pot Saucy Cheeseburger Sandwiches, Green Beans
Tuesday: Broccoli Fettuccine Chicken
Wednesday: Leftover Buffet
Thursday (St. Nicholas Day): Pancakes, Sausages, Home Fries
Friday: Pizza, Veggies & Dip

Last week's Italian Sausage Egg Bake was a huge hit... with the adults. Not so much with Bittyman. I'll just stick with pancakes for Christmas morning! Speaking of pancakes, this Thursday is the Feast of St. Nicholas and by coincidence Daddy is off. So after opening our stockings, we'll enjoy a hearty leisurely breakfast. That evening we'll be touring an outdoor festival of lights so dinner will probably be of the drive-thru variety afterwards!

Feliz Navi-Toss!

Merry Tossmas!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

First Sunday of Advent

If you need a break from perusing those sales fliers in the Sunday paper:

Watching and Waiting by Danielle Bean.
The True Meaning of Advent by The Curt Jester. (He also created the Advent wreath graphic above - thanks, Jeff!)
St. Rita Parish Weekly Builletin. Scroll down to the bottom for the article written by the Parochial Vicar of St. Rita, Fr. Paul Scalia. (Scalia - sound familiar? As in the son of Supreme Court Justice Scalia.) Fr. Scalia is the consultant priest to a Catholic Mom's message board I belong to and he serves in the Diocese of Arlington where I grew up.
A Catholic Life: Advent and Christmas Compilation. Matthew has stopped blogging since entering the Seminary, but A Catholic Life continues to be one of my favorite reference blogs.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Foto Friday

My favorite photos from our Thanksgiving trip to Green Bay:

Dan and the boys with their Great-Grandmother, Mary

Itty with his Godfather and Uncle, Damien

The Desert Dwellers in the Lambeau Field Atrium

Monday, November 26, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Cheesy Pizza Meatloaf, Green Bean Casserole
Tuesday: Italian Sausage Egg Bake. (Test run for Christmas morning)
Wednesday: Alton Brown's Grilled Cheese, Soup
Thursday: Pizza for the Packers Game
Friday: Veggie Quesadillas, 7-Layer Dip

A common theme to this week's menu? BelGioioso cheese. Two of Dan's brothers are cheese makers so we were blessed to return from the Frozen Tundra with 10 pounds of award-winning cheese!

Mama was not so blessed to return with one heck of a cold. So forgive me for light blogging for a few days.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Glitter Graphics

We're heading to the frozen tundra to spend Thanksgiving with Dan's family. There will be a 30F drop in temperature from our desert home to Green Bay. The boys will keep warm playing with the 11 first-cousins who are in the area (the boys already have 19 first-cousins total) and Dan and I will keep warm partaking in some of the fine beverages brewed in Wisconsin. I'll also get to have lunch with K, my Maid on Honor, who I haven't seen since either of us had children.

We hope to return with a Packers win over the Lions and without any traveling horror stories or cold virus'!

Wishing all of Bitty's & Itty's fans a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Want A Blog Like Mine?

Lindsay, the gal who created my fantastic blog template after I won first place in her last Custom Template Giveaway, is in the holiday giving mood! So head on over and enter for a chance to have your blog look as cool as mine! No blog? She also creates custom holiday photo cards at very reasonable rates so check out her portfolio.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Foto Friday

Bedtime tonight. (Better late on Friday than never!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

We're heading over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house next weekend to spend Thanksgiving in the frozen tundra. So the goal of this week is a zero grocery bill and to clean out the fridge/freezer. (Helps that Daddy has gigs three nights - Guess which meals are geared towards Bittyman?)

Monday: Brats & Baked Beans
Tuesday: Veggie Burgers
Wednesday: Pancakes & Eggs
Thursday: Chicken Nuggets
Friday: Pizza

Friday, November 09, 2007

Foto Friday

Enjoying our record-high heat this week.

(Well, not enjoying having to turn our AC back on because it was 85F inside the house... and not really enjoying arguing with Bittyman that he should put on a short-sleeved shirt and shorts before walking to the park - and you can see from the picture who 'won' the argument... then not so much enjoying the part where Bittyman complained of being TOO HOT the entire time we were at the park... oh, and finally also not really enjoying much the part about trying to stretch a short-sleeved onesie to fit Ittyboy since he's outgrown all this summer clothes.)

Sure, we're enjoying our record-high heat.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Made in the USA

Lead-tainted paint, date rape drug coated beads - what else do the Chinese have in store for our kids?

It's going to be an only American made toy Christmas at our house. More books, games, clothing and less crappy plastic that might harm my little heroes.

Fox News - Buy American: Toys Made in the USA
Fat Brain Toys
our green house - American made
Gile Toys
Toys Made In America
US Made Toys

And with Al Qaeda eyeing mall attacks over the holidays, all the more reason to shop for American made toys from the comfort of my home office.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dear Dr. Sears,

Is it bad parenting to take a preschooler to the Grand Opening of our city's first Dunkin' Donuts and call it lunch?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm In!

Comment registration is open at Michelle Malkin! (Michelle only opens registration once in a blue moon to keep the trolls away.)

Thanks, Grandmai for the heads-up. Now to think of something clever and pithy to write. Might need coffee first... and a return of the IQ points I lost during pregnancy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

What Level of Education is Required to Understand this Blog?

cash advance
Now don't ya feel smart? I must write pretty good well!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Pssst... Want to Know a Secret?

'Tis already the season for Starbucks Holiday drinks! As of yesterday you can order holiday drinks even though they won't 'officially' be advertised until November 8! A very kind Barista shared this tidbit with me today. (Too bad I had already ordered my Tall (nonfat) Cafe Mocha when she divulged this secret!)

Daddy is out of town this weekend so methinks I'll treat myself to a Gingerbread Latte tomorrow... and a Peppermint Mocha after Mass on Sunday!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Blood Sugar Crash on All Saints' Day

After putting on a few miles trick-or-treating then stuffing ourselves silly with miniature candy (and chocolate-flavored Mama's milk in Ittyboys's case), Bittyman, Itty and I all slept in, missing 8:00am All Saints' Day Mass with Daddy.

So Mommy will be attempting 7:00pm Mass with the boys. Not a problem for Bitty who really is an angel in church. (Have I blogbragged that he can now recite the Apostle's Creed? And Father was so impressed by this feat that it became a part of his homily that week?) But 7 is a challenging time for Itty who is usually fighting sleep.

Seminarian Matthew has a great page all about Saints and why Catholics honor them: A Catholic Life: Saints

Mama is needing a hair of the dog that bit her... now where did I hide Bitty's treat bag... there's a Snickers in there with my name on it! (Bitty, when you can read this post, I owe you a candy bar!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Taken at Sunday's Halloween Festival. Tonight Spiderman and a Pea Pod will be trick-or-treating in our friend's more kid-friendly neighborhood. (Our community is a bust when it comes to handing out candy for some reason.)

Have a safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Fun

Ignore those kiddos knocking at your door and play some online Halloween games instead.

(You know you want all those miniature Reese's for yourself anyway!)

Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween Games

Ghoulish Games

Bashing Pumpkins

For Daddy

Highlights from last night's Packers win in OT against the Broncos. (Game-winning touchdown is at -0:48.)

Brett Favre does it again. Daddy is one happy Cheesehead today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Miniature Milky Ways, M&M's, Twix, etc.
Thursday (All Saints' Day): Pizza
Friday: Chinese at Pei Wei

Easy week for Mom. Between Halloween trick-or-treating, All Saints' Day Mass Thursday evening and Daddy going out of town Friday morning for the weekend, it's all about quick, easy, and next weekend more dining out than usual as I'll be doing the solo parenting thing for 3 days.

Thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for hosting. (Go check out Laura's new and improved site!)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

On Being Catholic At Halloween

Lots of posting among the Catholic bloggers about Halloween. Ma Beck says everything I'd have written if I wasn't down a few IQ points from pregnancy, childbirth and baby rearing: WardWideWeb: Obligatory Hallowe'en Post

(But we do have one major philosophical disagreement - who the heck eats Butterfingers? My candy d'Halloween was Milky Ways before Bitty received a 'super silver tooth'. Now our house is a sticky-free candy zone. Dark M&M's in our treat bowl. Butterfingers? Oh, the horror!)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Foto Friday

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reintroducing, The Adventures of Bittyman and His Sidekick, Ittyboy!

WOW is right! (You said WOW! when you loaded the page, didn't ya?) Is this not the coolest blog template EVER?!?

When I won first place in Splat Creative Designs' contest for a custom blogger template I was just hoping for a cute header in a comic-book font. Actually that's about all the direction I gave Lindsay - I'd like a comic-book theme to go with my blog's title and my two 'superheros' are blond.

Holy cow, Bittyman, did she deliver!

I can not thank Lindsay enough. She is such a super-talented gal! Besides blogger templates she does custom headers, logos, buttons, business cards and much more. So go check out her portfolios and treat your blog to a new and improved look!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blogs Worth Blogging About

Organized Christmas

Cynthia at Organized Home has begun her free six-week Countdown to Christmas. (WHAT? CHRISTMAS IS IN SIX WEEKS?!? Simma down, now! Take a deep breath. Christmas is NINE weeks from Tuesday.)

The six-week plan will let you enjoy a stress-free Advent season with the goal of completing all your Christmas planning and preparations by the first weekend in December. (Or give you three more weeks to accomplish what you should have done already!)

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Tater Beef Bake
Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner (Scrambled eggs with cheese & veggies and homefries)
Wednesday: Italian Sausage Subs
Thursday: Leftover Buffet
Friday: Fish & Chips

The weather has FINALLY cooled off enough where I can plan on using my oven each night. (From May through September it's just so darn hot in our part of the country that I only do meals that can be grilled outside, cooked in the Crockpot, or made on the stove top.) So for the next few months I'll be doing casseroles on Monday instead of slow cooker recipes. The Tater Beef Bake is a new recipe from simple & delicious magazine. I'll report next week on its success or failure!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Foto Friday Flashback

Bittyman at 6 Months

Scroll down to my last post and you'll discover my little men still look like twins birthed four years apart - but fraternal, not identical. Bitty had a lot more hair than Itty, who only now has grown some little blond wisps, and Itty's eyes are a much brighter shade of blue than Bitty's were.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy 6 Months, Itty!

How far you've come!
And from a fellow blogging Mom, a
6-Month Breastfeeding Award for my sidebar!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Not Hailing the Redskins

I'll be eating crow all week after the Redskins' loss to Daddy's Packers, so no Menu Plan for this Monday.

But to reward those who surfed by, some pictures from the weekend:

Yay! I can sit in the highchair!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Foto Friday

Monday, October 08, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
Tuesday: English Muffin Pizzas
Wednesday: Baked Ziti
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Grilled Basil, Tomato & Cheese Sandwiches and Soup

It's a gorgeous fall day so I'm off to the park with the boys. I'll link to the Chicken Fajitas recipe during nap-time.

Thanks, as always, to Laura at Organizing Junkie for hosting!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Happy Birth Day, Vinnie!

The boys cousin Vinnie was born to Aunt Cristie and Uncle Tony early this morning. Vinnie, although over two weeks early, weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches long!

Vinnie has a touch of pneumonia and is on IV antibiotics but the prognosis is for a speedy recovery and he should be heading home with Mommy on Wednesday.

Congratulations, Aunt Cristie, Uncle Tony and big sister cousins Evelyn and Tori!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Foto Friday

Do not adjust your Outlook calendar. Halloween is still almost 4 weeks away. But don't bother telling Bittyman that.

Ittyboy is our mild-mannered alter-ego. He was going to wear the pea-in-a-pod costume that Bitty wore at that age, but I may do a superheros theme and get this costume instead.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I WON!!!

I'm so excited... and I just can't hide it... I'm about to lose control...sorry, former cheesy production-singer side coming out!

I won First Place in Splat Creative Designs' contest! Many thanks to Lindsey for generously donating her time and talent!

Look for a new and improved Adventures of Bittyman and His Sidekick, Ittyboy, soon!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Contest Time!

Splat Designs is generously giving away custom blog template designs. So if you're a blogger and would like a fancy new look, check it out!

I really want my blog to have a theme like this. Yeah, how cool would that be? So I either need to win this contest or come up with the funds to pay for a custom job - and sadly there is no budget category for 'Blog Templates' in my Quicken program.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Taco Soup
Tuesday: Caesar Rotini
Wednesday: Veggie Burgers
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Picnic Dinner w/Friends (Probably fried chicken meal from Albertsons!)

Last week's Saucy Cheeseburger Sandwiches was a new crockpot recipe and a huge hit. (Huge hit defined as a meal where Bittyman asked for seconds!) No new-to-me recipes this week but two family favorites with links included.

Side dishes are a starch and vegetable/salad - whatever I have on hand. So unless it's some fantastic recipe worth blogging about I won't be posting sides on my Menu Planner.

Good eats to all!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Foto Friday

More pictures from last weekend's classic car show:

Brotherly Love

Spiderman PT Cruiser

Teething Baby Boy