Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Watch out Sidney Crosby!

On Tuesday I found out there was no one using the ice before my team's practice. Instead of letting good ice go to waste, I brought Tyler to the rink for some extra practice. We packed a stick, grabbed some pucks, and went to town!
Tyler posing with his stick and puck, preparing to take a shot on goal. Just him and me alone on the ice for an hour. Nice form, great smile!!!

Since the balance is not quite there yet after some of his shots he ended up on his belly. Hey, as long as the puck goes in it all right, right? Tyler was so into chasing after the pucks that he forgot that he usually needs the walker to skate or at least he thinks he does. Thus proving, he really doesn't. Once he figures that out there won't be any stopping him. Unfortunately, Jennifer sent us to the rink without any extra batteries and these were the only pictures we got before the camera went dead.
During my team's practice, Tyler watched the whole time from the stands. He ate his lunch that we packed (peanut butter and fluff was on the menu that day) and took in every drill we did. What a fun afternoon!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I love my...

New bathroom!

For awhile now, our master bathroom has been steadily falling apart. When we first came and looked at the house before buying it, I really did not fall in love with this room, so I can not say I was sorry when the pink floor tile started buckling and coming up with the vacuum! Frank and I asked around and found a friend's dad to help out with the job, so we happily went to work demoing the room. Unfortunately, the job took a lot longer than expected, but the end result was well worth it! All in all it took 3 weeks to finish and a lot of sweeping, mopping, and patience on our part!
Frank doing his part as my demo man. He was happy to get in there and de-pink the room!

As you can see, the toilet was pink. The sink-- pink as well! The wall paper was pink and white striped, but I quickly pulled that from the walls the first month after we moved in! The floor titles were those itty-bitty tiles, all individually laid. It broke my heart to get rid of them and all the workmanship that went into laying the floor. Not!

This was the scene day 1 after the experts arrived. This is a shot of the shower stall. Turns out that the shower has been leaking long before we ever moved in and the wood was rotten. Read: cha-ching! New shower frame, coming right up!
Ahhhhhh, no more pink sink, no more pink toilet. I really appreciate the old owners, but what man would allow his wife to purchase a pink sink and matching toilet?
This is one of many holes in the wall. Turns out that when you pull tile from plaster, you also pull lots of wall. The top hole is where the ugly medicine cabinet was. We are making progress!
New floor tile!
New shower stall with new tile!
The final product! Wainscoting all around, cherry vanity and matching medicine cabinet, and lovely neutral tile all over. Just my taste! But the highlight of our new bathroom:
Our new toilet! We are so excited by this! It is chair height, low water flow, and WHITE! I love this room!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fermi Hockey

Today we took Grandma and Grandpa to Frank's hockey game. Today the Fermi Falcon's were taking on Conard High School in Connecticut. This season is especially important to Frank, he is hoping to make it to the 100 win mark! After today's 3-2 win, he is on his way!

A shot of Frank, waaaaay over there, coaching! His second home is behind the bench.

Tyler's friend Olivia joined us at the game as well. They had a great time watching the game from the front row. This was Olivia's first hockey game and like a true gentleman, Tyler explained everything that was happening on the ice to her.
In between posing for me Ty and Livie ate popcorn, chips, drank hot chocolate, said hello to passersby, and snuck away from the stands. Give these two a few years and both their middle names will be spelling T-r-o-u-b-l-e!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Best Christmas Ever!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. Grandma and Grandpa came to Massachusetts again this year to celebrate with Tyler (okay, with all off us, I suppose!). With my new job, I worked right up until Christmas Eve at 4:00 P.M. this year, but we managed to make the best of our time when I made it home. The Perry tradition is to have appetizers on Christmas Eve and to watch Christmas movies and spend time together. After a short photo session, we were all ready to chow down!
Tyler was in a great mood. I wonder why? I think he had visions of Santas dancing in his head.

Grandma and Grandpa posing with their favorite grandson! Grandpa and Tyler took a few moments to work off a bit of the holiday pounds and danced to "Feliz Navidad"-- not once, but numerous times! I was tired just watching them!
When Grandpa and Tyler were dancing, the cat ran-- right under the tree! Poor Puck!
Our annual family shot. This one is extra special because Puck is in it! I don't think we ever had a shot of all four of us!
I forget to visit Santa this year and tell him what I wanted for Christmas! Lucky for me this strapping young Santa stopped in for a quick visit before heading to work for the night!
Tyler made sure that he laid out his cookies, milk, and carrots for Santa and his reindeer. That night, Tyler slept great! After reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas", we were worried that he would be too excited to go to bed, but he settled in like the tired little guy he was. He did call me up once, though. A plane had flown overhead and he heard the noise. Tyler asked me if it was Santa coming! I reminded him that Santa was still in South America according to the map on the computer (Who would have ever thought that we would be tracking Santa online?). In the morning, there were only crumbs left on the plate and next to the plate was a great note that Santa left for Tyler.
Tyler waited no time in opening up his stocking. Unfortunately, I was able to only to capture a his initial reactions by camcorder! He was just too quick for me! Maybe if I had some coffee before I came downstairs? Tyler was so excited to see what Santa brought him. In his stocking he had small Lego sets, hockey trading cards, and bubble bath. While he moved on to the gifts under the tree, I put the Lego sets together!
"Wow! Bumblebee Transformer! Just what I always wanted!" What a smile! I love this shot! Tyler was so excited to open all of his gifts. It did take him awhile to realize that there were a lot of gifts to open and we were not going to have time to put the all together right away. However, by the time Christmas day was over, not a toy had been neglected! At one point during the day Tyler proclaimed this the "best Christmas ever in all his life!"
Santa heard Tyler's wish for the Hot Wheels Fireball Raceway. What a great looking toy! Unfortunately, it took a lot of elbow grease to put together, but totally worth it to see how excited he was opening it up and playing with it!
Santa really spoiled Tyler this year, again! His big gift was an Air Hockey table for the basement. He was so thrilled to see it and remembered that he had played it this summer in Wisconsin! Frank spent the better part of the afternoon putting it together! Way to go, daddy!
Another one of Tyler's favorite toys was the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. He played with the ship and all of the guys the entire afternoon!
Santa even brought Tyler new slippers this year. How cool are these Tyrannosaurus Rex slippers? He tried to sleep in them Christmas night, but they got in the way under the covers!
For dessert after our huge turkey dinner, birthday cake for baby Jesus! The theme this year? Star Wars with M&M's, two of Tyler's favorite things!
By mid afternoon, the air hockey table was ready for some action! We had time to play some games and so far Tyler is undefeated!
Three generations of Perry/Genovese's sharing a Christmas hug!

At home with the Genovese's, 2008

I must first give kudos to a fellow blogger, Kelly, who gave me the idea behind this post. She had a great post about documenting the decorating at home during the holiday. I am proud of some of my Christmas decorations that we have. Last year I finally found the time to follow through on some of my ideas for the house. Here are some of them:

Each window of the house has a wreath, red velvet ribbon, and a candle. The bushes all have lights, and the moose in the yard lights up and moves! It looks really nice at night and we stand out on our street-- we are the only decorated house! On the front porch is an antique sled and a small Christmas tree. The front door sports a pair of antique hockey skates.

In our old house our tree swallowed up the living room. In this living room, it is right at home. The angel on the tree top is the same one that adorned my family's tree at Christmas when I was a child. There are numerous ornaments on the tree-- many gifts we have received, but also ones that document places we have traveled to. I love unpacking them and reminiscing about our time there. The most special ones are those that Tyler has made for us, though! Tyler loves to play "I Spy" with the ornaments on the tree. (This shot was taken right after Santa stopped by our house this year.
This is our "Charlie Brown tree". When Frank and I lived in our apartment, this was tree we used! It took all of 10 minutes to hang the lights on and decorate! But now it is one of many and It sits in our family room. The ornaments on it are all reindeers that I made from Popsicle sticks and panted brown:

Our mantle in the family room. I bought the stockings this year. Why should this fire place not have anything hanging from it? The lights on it are red and along with the "Charlie Brown tree" lights, which are clear, that makes this the Indiana Christmas room!
These are the trees in our dining room. There are 3 of them, a mommy tree, daddy tree, and baby tree. The daddy tree is covered in denim ties. The mommy tree has all button ornaments. The baby tree is waiting for me to be inspired! I am sure that next year I will come up with something to hang from it! These trees I decorated last year and am very happy with the way they came out.
Our staircase, covered in garland! The ribbon has painted Santas on it and my only regret it that I did not purchase more of it to decorate with. The garland goes the entire way up the stairs, including the banister in the upstairs hallway.
Our living room mantle. This is where Santa does his magic. Everyone here has a stocking, even Grandma, Grandpa, and Puck. When the tree lights and mantle lights are all lit, the room is bright enough to enjoy without any other lights on.

I hope you enjoyed the brief tour through our house this year! I hope that next year I will remember to do this in the beginning and commemorate all of our decorating! My goal is to expand into the bedrooms more. No sense at stopping on the main floor! Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas

As Tyler gets older, Christmas has been getting a lot more fun! Having him around Frank and I at Christmas reminds Frank and I of our childhood Christmases! Here are 12 fun facts about Tyler this Christmas season:

1. Tyler loves Frosty the Snowman. And Rudolph. And Charlie Brown's Christmas. Our DVR is filled with every Christmas special that has been on since Thanksgiving. Watching these shows with him has been an immediate time warp for Frank and I. After all, who doesn't love the Land of Misfit Toys? Tyler wanted to make a Frosty of his own last weekend, but the snow was too light and fluffy.

2. Tyler did not grasp the whole "Santa is watching" thing for a long time. He would say to us "but I don't see him" and "where is he?" when we would tell him that Santa is making sure that Tyler makes the nice list.

3. There is a house in Springfield that is totally decked out in lights and coordinates to the music on a radio station. It is a great sight. One night I remembered about the house and Tyler was in a bit of a funk. I drove him by the house and parked on the street. We sat and watched the house "perform" for 15 minutes. In one of the front windows there is a Santa image that moves around and waves. Every time Santa waved, Tyler would wave back. The first night we were there, Tyler said "See you soon, Santa!" Tyler now refers to this house as "Santa's house". Since that night we have made a few stops at this house each time to see if Santa was home.

4. During our visit to Santa this year at the mall, Tyler was not easily convinced that Santa wanted to see him. Tyler even requested that Rexy, his Tyrannosaurus Rex come with us. We hung back for awhile and watched some infants take their place on his lap. Eventually Tyler decided that he wanted to get in line as well. We made our way up there and he introduced Rexy to Santa, and when Santa asked what Tyler wanted this year, Tyler said "I don't know." Santa then said to Tyler "Do you know what I want?" and Tyler said "Yes." Santa replied "I want you to sit on my lap and take a picture!" Tyler did just this and now we have a great picture of Santa, Tyler, and Rexy!

5. After our success at Thanksgiving with donating to the Food Bank, I decided that Tyler needed to also help make another child happy at Christmas. When I asked him if he would like to help give presents to another child who may not get any thing year he said "Yes!". I arranged to "adopt" a 3-year-old boy, Alexis, from my old job at MSPCC. Alexis wanted trucks and blocks for Christmas. Tyler and I took some time and wandered around Target and found a car carrier, some Matchbox cars, and some car-themed warm clothes. Tyler was not immediately thrilled about the prospect of giving these really cool things away, but we kept explaining that he was going to make some other people really happy. We wrapped the gift and dropped it off at MSPCC, and when we did, he said "That is for my friend, Alex."

6. On our Christmas tree, there are numerous ornaments that are significant to events in our lives: first house, first Christmas together, baby's first Christmas, etc. Tyler loves to go around the tree and check on these and make sure that they are all still there. His favorite one is a silver ornament which opens to a baby picture of him. It has to be on the tree in the open position!

7. A few days ago we were in the kitchen making dinner. Tyler walked through and he was humming! After listening to him for awhile, I realized that he was humming "Jingle Bells"!

8. We have two fire places in our house. The other night, we read a book called "In a House With No Chimney, How Does Santa Get In?". I guess it was food for thought for a 4-year-old. He really could not figure out which one Santa will come in. After a lot of thought, he did settle on the living room chimney because it is closer to the tree.

9. While watching television and seeing a commercial for toys, Tyler will say "I want that!" or "I don't want that, that's for girls!". I had to explain to him that as a boy, he can play with girl stuff and vice versa. After all, he plays house with his friends and cousins!

10. Tyler loves to see mangers and look for the baby Jesus figures. Trying to really instill the reason for the Christmas season, I reminded him that Christmas is Jesus's birthday and he was such a loving and wonderful person that he wanted us to receive presents instead of taking them for himself.

11. For the first time, Tyler and I baked cookies this year. We had a lot of fun following the list and finding the ingredients in the grocery store and taking them home and following the recipe. Tyler likes to pull the stools up to the counter, it takes him to the right height to help out. While we rolled the sugar cookie dough out, he insisted on helping with the flour. Did I mention that the stools are covered in a dark, denim material? Did I mention that white flour and denim do not mix? On the other hand, my white tile floors and white counter tops survived a 4-year-old and flour just fine!

12. Eventually, after a lot of prodding, Tyler asked for 1 thing this year. The Matchbox Fire Ball Track. When we got back in the car after seeing Santa, he said "I forgot to tell him what I wanted!". He was almost in tears. That was when I explained to him that Santa already knows what he wanted, he is magic. Hopefully this will hit home when he actually opens the gift tomorrow! There is nothing better than seeing excitement on his face!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Day!

This is the scene at our house over the last 3 days! After a very mild winter season so far, we paid for it this weekend. Dearly! Up until Friday, the only snow we had received so far was the inch the weekend before. I knew it was too good to be true! Frank, on the other hand, was so excited to fire up the new snow blower and put it to work!

Frank had no school on Friday because the snow was predicted to start around noon. He decided that morning that he would keep Tyler at home with him. Me, on the other hand, I dragged myself out of bed, showered, dressed, and left the house at 7:30am. On the way to work, I checked the "snow line" for our company. For ha-has only. After all, it wasn't snowing yet and I could work most of the day before it got really bad outside. But what did this snow line say? At 7:45am on Friday it said we were closed! UGH! I quickly remembered that I now had a snow day and could stay at home with my guys and rest, too! I made a quick trip to Target and a few other places (after all, I was dressed and ready for the day!), and then circled on back home!

This was the view on Saturday. If you look really hard, you can see that it is still snowing! We got about 10 inches from Friday into Saturday. The weatherman said that there would be a few intermittent snow flurries on Saturday....

Tyler and I bundled up mid-afternoon and headed out to play. Brrr, it was cold!
Tyler helped clean off out moose in the front yard. As you can see in this picture it is still snowing! (Few intermittent snow flurries, yeah right!)
Tyler kept falling in the snow. It was light and fluffy, but there were a few drifts that were quite deep. His poor cheeks were so red!
Here's Ty practicing his snow angels! He can hardly see what is going on!
The deep snow was a great workout! He really had to work to get up after he fell! We made attempts to build a snowman, but it was not snowman making snow. Even after playing outside for an hour, he was still smiling and not complaining of the cold! I decided that it was time to go in after seeing the color of his cheeks!
Little did I know that Saturday was only a taste of what was coming on Sunday. It eventually stopped snowing after dark on Saturday. But on Sunday, by the time we woke up, it was already snowing again! This was the scene out my side door (thank goodness for the red ribbons, otherwise I can't see my wreaths!):
This time Frank took Tyler outside. They had so much fun together!
For Christmas, Santa dropped off an early gift-- a toboggan! Frank had to show Tyler how to use it...
...and it didn't take long for Tyler to learn how to use it!

Monday brings the sun and clear skies (what, no snow?)! Until then, we will keep our mittens dry and our snow blower warm!

PS. Our snow total right now is 15 inches!

Holiday Hockey

Guess who came to hockey today?

Santa, that's who!

Tyler was so suprised, he stopped in his tracks!
Tyler and his friend, Chloe, chased Santa around the ice and played lots of fun games!
Daddy, Tyler, and Santa all posed for me!
Tyler racing after Santa, with the walker...
... and without! What a great surprise, who knew Santa could skate?