Thursday, December 25, 2008

A very sick Christmas

In the spirit of giving I have unfortunatly passed my sickness on to the boys. This morning Aaron woke up with a fever and had to go to the doctor. Later this afternoon Peter had also come down with a fever.

Both boys, however, are still eating well and have not shown any of my other symptoms, so we are really praying that the fever was the worst of it.

Sadly, we are probably going to have to skip all of Christmas plans tomorrow. The good news though is that Brett (i.e. Immune system of steel) has managed to stay some what healthy. He is worn down from playing doctor but he is doing the best health wise of all of us.

Wishing everyone a merry (healthy) christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


It is Christmas eve and here I am in bed (I got a blogger app on my iPhone so I have the ability to blog anywhere now) sick as a dog with the flu.

I started feeling sick on Monday night when I was running last minute errands with my sister, but at that point I really just thought I was tired and had a slight cold. By the following morning I had a fever, terrible cough, couldn't get warm, waa achy and had an upset stomach. But I am a stay at home mom so there are no sick days.

Brett went to work and I started my day with the boys. By mid-morning, however, I no longer felt like it was safe for me to carry the kids up and down the stairs because I was so light headed. Plus, while Peter had gotten a flu shot and hopefully couldn't catch what I had, Aaron is too young to get one and I was very conserned about passing my germs onto him.

Finally I decided to call my mom and ask that she come over during lunch to help with Peter (Aaron was down for a nap) and bring me medician. Luckly she was able to my house just in time for me to really start getting sick and fed Peter lunch and put him down for his nap.

Brett, who has only been at his job for three weeks, also ended up coming home early so he could cover for me when my mom left. Today my fever finally broke and I am getting some energy back, but my sister and Brett are taking turns helping with the kids so I can rest.

It isn't the most fun way to celebrate the holiday but I am so thankful that Brett's new company is so family friendly and willing to work with him staying home, and that my mom and sister could be here to help.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tastings Journal Dinner with the Sprays!

Saturday night, we took our friend's Matt and Andy Spray to Odeon for this month's Tasting Journal dinner.

The menu was amazing...


Apple Mesculn Salad
Goat Cheese Arugula Salad


Spinach Calamari Saltati
Funghi E Granchi


Cream of Broccoli Soup
Lobster Bisque

FOURTH COURSE (served with a wine choice!)
Braised Lamb Shank fresh Veggies and Red Wine Reduction with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Fresh Salmon Filet served over Angel Hair Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes Basil and Olive Oil
Chicken Breast rolled over Spinach and Ricotta Cheese in Lemon Capers Sauce
Ravioli stuffed with Lobster Meat in Homemade Lobster Cream Sauce

FIFTH COURSE (served with a glass of Champagne!)

Chocolate Soufflé ala Mode

We ate and ate and ate, talked, and had a great evening out!

Thanks to Matt and Andy for coming, we have had such a good time becoming friend's with you this year :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weekend of visitors and Christmas celebrations!

This past weekend my Aunt Marilyn and my sister, Katelyn and her boyfriend came into town for a visit and to have a little pre-Christmas celebration.

Friday night, Brett watched Peter while Marilyn and I went shopping at a pretty crowded (but not too bad), Tyson's Mall.

Saturday was our big stay home, open gifts and hang out with family day. My sister and Rich come over and we all had lunch, opened Marilyn's gifts and played with the kids for the day.

Brett and I got the best gift - a print from an artist who does collages with newsprint. Ours was of a guy jamming on an electric guitar and it is awesome! The only problem is that it is perfect for our music room, however I really want to hang it on the main floor to show it off.

I also got the most amazing slippers ever, Aaron had a star named after him, and Peter got some new outfits and books (which I have now read about 100 times).

Later in the evening we tried to take our family Christmas photo, which was Marilyn's favorite part of the evening. Neither of our "perfect" kids wanted to be sitting on our laps, smiling, wearing a santa hat, or anything else we wanted from them. Eventually we tried bribing Peter with chocolate, which he promptly spit into Brett's hair.

Later, and our friend Sun came over with her new fiance Nick. We exchanged our gifts with Sun while Nick held Aaron. Sun and Marilyn and I always exchange books, and Sun got Peter a Elmo Live (which he was scared of at first, but now loves)

After our day of gift giving Sun, Marilyn and Nick went out together, and Brett and I went out to dinner with our friend's Matt and Andy Spray.

Katelyn and Rich stayed home to help my mom with the kids.

While Katelyn was feeding Peter dinner, he decided that he could do it himself...

Another string bean in the family!

On December 8, Aaron went in for another routine check up and to get a few shots (4 actually - poor baby).

During the appointment we had a weight in and found that he is...

Weight - 12 pounds 14 ounces (25%)

Height - 25,5 inches (75%)

Head - 16 inches (10%)

To which the doctor said... wow, your babies really are tall and skinny!

Aaron and Peter are officially growing at almost the exact same rate, even though Aaron's pudgy cheeks give him the impression of being a bigger baby.

During the appointment the doctor also noted that Aaron's hips were popping and told me to go get him an x-ray to ensure that he was developing properly and that his hips were OK.

The following Friday we had the X-ray appointment and little Aaron even got to wear a baby-sized lead vest to protect against radiation.

The doctor called that afternoon and said that the X-ray came out fine, so like we thought there was nothing to worry about!

So, this is Christmas... with a one year old...

Peter is now about 16 months old, so he is right at the point where opening presents is sort of fun (since he doesn't usually get free reign to rip paper), however he doesn't really understand that the gifts are for him.

So, I didn't really think that he would care to get into the gifts that were under the tree and got most of my wrapping done early.

The following day Peter was having his alone play time when I heard paper tussling. I peer into the living room to find 1/2 the gifts that I had wrapped (in gift bags - my bad) opened and all over the living room.

That night I re-wrapped the gifts in paper this time and put them back under the tree, giving Peter a (completely ignored) talk about not touching the gifts.

To date he has unwrapped 3 more gifts, and is working on the rest which I was taped to death in attempts to make it difficult for him.

Its isn't working thus far...

Exersaucin' Boy!

Now that Aaron is holding his head up, sitting up with assistance, and pushing up to stand I decided to try him in the excersaucer.

The first few times that I tried it out with Peter were a bust (he cried before he was even in the thing), so I didn't get my hopes up too much. Aaron, however, was perfectly content.

He isn't really reaching for the toys yet, but he will sit in it for 15-20 minutes and look around.

I am pretty excited for another way to entertain him since he is awake for a lot longer in between naps these days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Busy weekend ends up being a bust :(

The weekend after Thanksgiving we had a lot on our schedule!

Friday - I had plans to go Christmas shopping and work out with my best friend, Alex

Saturday - we were supposed to teach a parenting class from 9:00am to 5:00pm, then we had a Christmas party to go to at a former work friend of mine (Dominique Stumpf), and a birthday party to go to at our friends' Marie and John Jaraback (Sorry Marie, I think that is spelled wrong!).

Sunday - we had regular church service at Westmoreland, then I was supposed to help flier the surrounding neighborhood to advertise an event we were holding the following weekend, then we had our second church service of the day at ReNew in Chantilly.

Sadly, Friday's plans ended up being the only thing that actually happened (due to some not so fun circumstances).

Here is what really happened:

Saturday - The parenting class was canceled because the parents gave birth the day before, so I guess they had a good excuse! Half way through the day we notice that our cat, Angel Food Cake, was showing signs of a stroke (her head was tilted downward and she couldn't lift it, she was also walking funny and wasn't able to eat or drink). So, I took her into the Hope Center (a 24 hour vet hospital). Four hours later we are told that she has a bad kidney infection and possible stroke and needs to stay over night on IV medication.

Sunday - On my way out the door to go to church I was carrying Peter, a diaper bag, and a huge purse, and I was walking in four inch heels. It had snowed the night before, but the only thing left was a dusting and a ice covered sidewalk from where my sump pump drains. Needless to say I slipped, fell on my knee (trying to protect Peter from the fall), and had to call Brett to rush home from church (he was there already for band practice) to help Peter and I back in the house. The rest of the day I had to stay iced and elevated, so we missed everything we had scheduled that day too.

We also had to leave Angel Food Cake for a second night because her blood levels were still out of whack. Monday, we finally got back to normal. My knee was bruised and sore, but I was OK; and after a $1900 vet bill, Angel Food Cake came home with several pills that I got to feed her daily.

All in all it wasn't a very fun weekend, but we survived it and hope that weekend's like that are few and far between.

Piano Man (well boy, really)

I forgot one of the videos from Thanksgiving week!

Here is Peter playing on the Kelly's piano the morning before Thanksgiving:

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Big BeVard Thanksgiving Blog...

Brace yourselves, this is going to be a long one...

The Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, Brett and I packed up what seemed like everything we own and headed up to Tunkhannock, PA for the annual BeVard Thanksgiving celebration.

We were nervous for the five hour drive with two babies, but the kids impressed us and made it the entire way without stopping. Brett was riding shot gun and helped the ride by entertaining Peter and feeding both kids when they needed to eat.

When we finally arrived at the Kelly house, we settled in ordered pizza and relaxed with the Kellys before heading to bed.

The next morning Peter and Aaron woke up earlier than usual, but did both sleep through the night despite the new environment.

After breakfast Brett and I played with the kids and just hung out at the Kelly house trying to get Peter adapted before the rest of the my relatives arrived.

When the Kelly kids got home from their half day of school we took a walk down the street to Aunt Marilyn's house...

Just as we were arriving at Aunt Marilyn's house, Aunt Krennie and Jack pulled up and Peter and Erin were very excited...

That evening was when most of the BeVards show up and have dinner at Marilyn's house before crashing on couches, floors, guest rooms, and a whole lot of hotel rooms for the Thanksgiving festivities the next day.

Unfortunately, Peter was pretty overwhelmed by my crazy family so Brett and I took the boys back to the empty Kelly house for baths and bedtime.

Afterward, when the kids were down for the night, we played cards until bedtime.

The next morning, the Kelly house was buzzing as our biggest Thanksgiving to date (we had 44 people!) started getting ready for the big holiday. Yet again, Peter was overwhelmed so I took him to Aunt Marilyn's house to get away from all the noise (read - BeVards).

We hung out with Aunt Krennie, Jack, Stephanie, and Ruthie, and Peter talked on the phone with Marilyn...

Eventually, Brett came over to Marilyn's to switch with me so he could watch Peter and I could hang out with my family.

Back at the Kelly house, the annual gingerbread house was being built, and to give it a very realistic touch they posted a sign in front of this year's home to show the current economic state of the country:

Sadly, when Brett brought Peter back to the Kelly house he was just too tired and too cranky to sit through Thanksgiving dinner, so I decided to take him for a drive in hopes that he would take a nap.

Being a big fan of the NBC show The Office, I decided that I would drive the 30 minutes to Scranton and see if I could see some of the sites from the opening credits for the show.

Unfortunately, the Welcome to Scranton sign has since been taken down, but I did see the church (which is actually a municipal building), and I drove through the campus of the University of Scranton before heading back to Tunkhannock.

Peter and I got back to the Kelly house just in time for the big family picture!

Soon after, most of the family packed into cars for the last Thanksgiving day tradition - heading into town to see a movie at the local theater.

Our crew stayed home to get the kids fed, let Peter play with Aunt Ruthie, and put them to bed. Afterward Brett and I stayed up hanging out with family the rest of the evening.

The next morning, we woke up and headed over to Aunt Marilyn's for the post-Thanksgiving brunch. Where Katelyn had some Aaron bonding time:

And Peter tried to drink my coffee:

During the post-Thanksgiving brunch Peter was a little overwhelmed (again) so Brett and I took turns playing with him in the basement and outside.

We learned that he loved jumping on the trampoline...

As guests started leaving to go home, the remaining BeVards sang to them in classic BeVard tradition (I didn't get them all on video, but I got a few)...

After everyone left we stuck around and played games with the kids the rest of the day, including a lot of Wii Fit and Erin did some boxing:

Without as many people around Peter calmed down a little, and even took a few cat naps on my lap.

The whole day was pretty much relaxing and eating left overs at Marilyn's house until we headed back to Shellie's for bath and bedtime.

The next morning, we packed the kids up and headed back home.

Even though the trip was very stressful and sometimes I felt like I just wanted to go home and get back to the kids normal schedule so they would relax, it was still a great trip and I loved seeing all my relatives.

Stand up guy...

Aaron is growing fast and developing new skills every day.

The latest?

He is pushing up with his legs when you are holding him in order to stand up!

We obviously still need to hold him up, but his little legs are very strong and and he loves practicing everyday.

Maybe Aaron will walk before Peter did... we will just have to wait and see!

Surprise!... a congrats lunch for Brett

After Brett got the call that he had gotten his new job, my friend (and former roommate) Paul called to invite us to lunch at the restaurant he manages in the Dulles Hyatt.

Thinking quick I asked if we could get a private dining room and have a little surprise lunch for Brett. Paul jumped at the request and even said he would have a big screen TV put in the room so everyone could watch football.

So, I emailed all our friends and local family to get a group together for the surprise. Even though it was short notice, we had almost 20 people who were free and ended up coming to the lunch.

When we walked in Brett was totally shocked and confused (good job everyone :)... the entire morning he had thought I was angry at him because I wasn't talking to him (I thought I was going to spill the beans!).

Paul had set up the room with a long table to eat at, and three couches to lounge on while we watched the football games.

Like usual, Peter provided entertainment:

And we had a great time spending the afternoon with our friends.

The second surprise of the afternoon came when my mom picked up the bill for everyone's lunch.

Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us, and a special thanks to Paul for the set up, and my mom for her generous funding!

Gardner/Spray/Merrill Game Night

A few weeks ago (November 21), Brett and I had our friends Mike and Sarah Merrill, and Matt and Andy Spray over for a grueling game of SMACK!

The night was also a mini celebration for Brett, who had received news the day before that he had secured a position in the technical department at Noblis. To get the game started we all toasted to Brett with a bottle of champaign that Sarah had brought over.

In the beginning everyone was happy...

But then Brett started talking SMACK...

Until he realized he had horrible cards in his hand...

So, Mike called him a choke artist...

But in the end, Sarah won...

It was a fun night in, and we were glad to share it with the Sprays and Merrills!