Category Archives cousins

Birthday Cake Making Dreams

This weekend, we went to visit my brother and his family. My niece, SG, turned four on Saturday, so it was time for a birthday celebration. When we arrived, her cake was sitting on the dining room table. Check this out and guess the theme:

The Cake Delivered

This gorgeous cake was made by a co-worker of my sister-in-law. Here is her business card in case you happen to live out in western NY.

Molly's Cakes

Not only are Molly’s Cakes delicious, her work is gorgeous. She also worked around a slight complication for my niece. SG is highly allergic to eggs. As you can probably guess, this can make baked goods complicated. We make cupcakes with no-egg substitute in them for birthdays to allow her to enjoy what everyone else is eating. Molly made SG’s top layer of the cake with no egg. It was a pumpkin cake. The bottom two layers had chocolate and vanilla with egg. Oh and the fondant was a new kind that she was testing. While I did not try any, others raved about it.

Did you guess the theme of the party? Here’s a little more decorations to help you out:

Party Decorations

Here is  a photo of the cake with the cute little toppers added right before  everyone enjoyed the cake:

Everyone sees the cake

The birthday girl seemed very happy with her layer. Check her out with her cloud cake layer.

Birthday Girl with her cake

Of course, seeing SG’s cake made me realize how much I would still love to take a Wilton Cake Decorating class. They are given at several of the local craft stores. One of these days, I may. I think I am ready to explore with fondant, but then again – I really love my piping fun with cupcakes.

It's Me

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Happy 8th Birthday NHL

Dear NHL,

I can not believe that you are already eight years old. It seems like yesterday that Daddy and I were in the store picking out your crib. Then, we brought you home and suddenly you grew up before our eyes.

So much has happened in the last year. Some were amazing, while others ones I wish we could have shielded you from. No matter what, you will learn and grow and have survived these bumps in the road of life.

Now let’s take a walk down memory lane at the last year – NHL at 7.

After your last birthday, you really started to enjoy using the Nintendo Wii, and, with time, the DS. Daddy and I allowed you to try your new games and often your little brother watched on in amazement. Of course, now he’s starting to get some of the Wii games thanks to you helping him. (August 2010)

Brothers gaming

Second grade, well it proved to be a challenging year. Academically, there was no issues for you. Sad to say, it will probably be the year we hope to forget. Rather than dwell on the drama that included switching schools, let’s recall the happy times. Just after the year started, we went up to the lake for a big extended family weekend. You were so thrilled to drive the boat with Uncle M. (September 2010)

NHL's turn to drive

Much of October was filled with preparing for Halloween. You were thrilled to be Luigi again since your love of all things Super Mario was really getting started. (October 2010)

Halloween Party Fun

Thanksgiving this year was even more special thanks to Uncle I, Aunt M, and cousins SG and BA coming. This meant celebrating Chanukah a little earlier. I think your favorite part was often reading to the little kids. I loved one of your gifts – your new Thing 1 shirt. You may not remember this, but when JSL was born Daddy and I used to call both of you by those names. (November 2010)

My Thing 1

December found us keeping busy with Chanukah, snow, and a fun outing. We all went to see Toy Story 3 on Ice. You loved the entire show and could not wait to see Lotso. It was a magical family outing that we all needed with special time together. (December 2010)

Disney on Ice 2010

Snow, snow, and more snow greeted us in January. There were several days that school was canceled. This was also the time that I gave you my old laptop to use. You adored playing math games and more on it. I think your favorite snow day was the one where we never got our of our pajamas and stayed warm playing games. (January 2011)

Computer Geek at Heart

February brought us even more snow and a lot of ice. At a certain point, even you were getting sick of it. Of course, since you were 7, you liked to play outside, build, and try to keep warm. By the end of the month, we were all dreaming of our upcoming trip to Florida. (February 2011)

Too much snow

The magical month of March arrived just in time for a much needed escape from life here in NY. We were lucky enough to be able to go to the second Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. You certainly showed that you are a NDK (Neurotic Disney Kid) and enjoyed every minute wanting to know when we could go back again. Seeing the joy in your face and the stress melt away was beyond magical. I think the highlight for you was meeting Beast  since you had been begging for that moment for months. (March 2011)

Finally meeting Beast

The snow finally melted away and some warmer weather came to stay. You adored the times when we could head to the park and run around without a worry in the world. Of course, it also allowed you time to be silly in front of the camera. (April 2011)

Roaring at the park

Much of May was spent getting used to new things. A new school, your little brother turning four, and heading to the circus. You were fascinated with the circus clowns, animals, and acts in general. May was definitely a month where we turned things around and started to see the light at the end of the second grade tunnel. (May 2011)

Clown With The Boys

Lots of things were going on in June. The end of the month officially made you a third grader. Much to our surprise, you were so sad to see things end at your new school. It made my heart so happy that you liked the new place where you learned so much in a short time. We also found a new favorite ice cream location. Yes, we met Nana and Papa there for lunch a few times and we were ok with that. (June 2011)

Brownie Batter Ice Cream Lunch

This summer, we have kept busy going to crafting events. You really do enjoy trying new crafts, as well as learning new things at the library’s passport program. Different countries, lizards, t-shirt making, and more thanks to our travels. Of course, the summer would  not be complete without time under the water at the fun new park we found.


Suddenly, it is August again and the end of being a seven year old. You now love chapter books, are into Harry Potter (with a crush on Hermione), and are determined to finish and win DS games. You are a big helper, especially when it comes to your littlest cousin. You loved spending your birthday party weekend helping him around the park and other locations. (August 2011)

Super big cousin

With tears in my eyes, I honestly find it hard to believe that you are already eight. You start third grade in a few short weeks. Getting to really watch you and spend time being creative with you this summer has taught me so much. I look forward to watching you grow, learn even more, and become the person you want to be. With some help, I hope that Daddy and I can make it more stress free and fun this year. I truly hope that your dreams and wishes come true and you have an amazing year – you deserve it!



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The Yankees Stink Shirt

Dear JSL,

Yesterday morning, I had to bribe you a little bit. It was Papa’s birthday and I wanted you to try to make him smile. As you know, he’s not really into the smiling thing. Case in point:

Note the big smile

Anyway, there is a shirt that Uncle I bought NHL when he was little. The shirt is not exactly loved by Daddy. He does allow one of you to wear it on special occasions for Papa. This morning, I pulled it out, but you were not really into wearing it. So I bribed you. Lucky for me, you asked for some lemonade with breakfast. DONE! Here you are wearing the shirt at Hoffman’s.

The Shirt

I think the problem with wearing this shirt is that you get a lot of attention. Seeing that we live in NY, a Yankees Stink shirt either gets a lot of glares, or laughter from Red Sox fans in the area. Of course, this didn’t phase you too much. You liked people looking, smiling, and giving you attention. Plus, you were busy being a big helper on the rides with cousin BA.

Big Helper

Then, you were thrilled to go again, leading the way with BA in the back driving solo.

One more time

Of course, during this time NHL was on the roller coaster with Uncle I. You did not quite get what a big deal it was that they were in the front row.

Coaster time

What impressed me even more was you also went on a ride you were not too sure about. Rides up high seem to get you scared. Cousin SG wanted to go on one with you. After chatting a bit, you agreed to try it. You can tell you were not thrilled here.

Last Ride

Then, while you were whirling around above, I heard giggles. Yes, you were laughing and smiling while flying with cousin SG for your last ride of the day.

Happy Kiddo

Of course, you probably thought the ice cream that came right after this – rainbow sprinkles and all was another part of the bribe.

Chocolate with Rainbow Sprinkles

Thank you for being such a big boy. You helped Papa smile and you made me so very proud by being such a big helper.




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CowParade Las Vegas – 2002


Bovina, The Las Vegas Showcow

Can't Stop Loving Moo 2

Can't Stop Loving Moo

Moo Suede Shoes 2

Moo York, Moo York


Moovers and Shakers

Ole Bluesy


Siegfried & Roy

Quick note about this week’s Wordless Wednesday. Photos were taken in Las Vegas throughout the city during the 2002 CowParade exhibit. We had countless other photos on TechyDad’s digital camera. Unfortunately, that camera was stolen on our way home in the airport (right off my back). These were pictures that I took and scanned with my now dated film camera. Wandering and seeing all of the CowParade pieces was amazing in itself.

It's Me

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