Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chit chat

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna seems likes she's developing the gift of gab lately.

Regularly she can be seen taking Angie's work pager and pretending it's a phone to call anyone from Scott to Sammy to Nat-Nat to Ryan and Ju-Ju.

I must say that she gets the idea of walking around the house when she's on the phone from me... it's just what I do.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A hot one

By K.J. Cardinal

Yesterday was just your run of the mill 90-degree April day.

I was bummed that I had two meetings and a lot of work to do, but I was able to take a break in the afternoon to get Anna's little pool ready for her first outdoor dip of the season.

When I went to pick her up from daycare and saw the little sweat drops on her upper lip, I knew she was going to be psyched to go "swim swim."

The water was a little chilly at first, so I did have to add a little warm water from the house, but once she got in she was loving it... as you can see.


By K.J. Cardinal

I think it's safe to say that Anna likes cookies.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The slide master

By K.J. Cardinal

Like I've mentioned on several occasions, Anna has officially mastered the slide.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Making your way in the world today...

By K.J. Cardinal

... takes everything you got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

And help a lot it did indeed.

Yesterday, I ventured into the city with the girls for a good afternoon in Boston before I went to the Sox-Yankees game.

We didn't time our arrival in the city very well as we parked our car just as the Celts game went to overtime. So, we then had to haul ass over to Cheers so we could watch the game. The C's couldn't pull it out, but it was an amazing game nonetheless.

After dinner we walked around a bit and ventured over to the park near Tia's on the Waterfront. Anna was amazed by one of the water fountains there... and she LOVED it when Sammy picked her up so she could "splash splash" the water. It was priceless.

After the park, we hit up the new playground in that area. It's pretty solid. Anna loved the slides and showed that she has mastered them... well, except for the rolling head first tumble she took down the windy slide (pictured right) when she smashed her face into the side. Other than that though, completely mastered.

Our last stop of the day was a quick photo-op with Red Auerbach. Anna and I are definitely going to make this an annual tradition. Last year Anna was in awe of the statue, but this year she was so funny.

She rubbed his head and gave him hugs and kisses. Obviously, I was psyched that she has a love affair with the greatest basketball mind of all-time like me. I know it's not the right thing to do to force things onto your child, but if Anna doesn't grow up to be a huge Celts fan, then I have truly failed as a parent.

The night was capped off for me with the Sox getting out the brooms and sweeping the Yankees. My buddy Johnny took me to the game and we had a blast.

In related news, Angie came out of the gate strong in her effort to win her third-straight Wife of the Year Award as she drove into the city at midnight to pick me up. I was (obviously) in no shape to drive. Thanks hon!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shorts, ducks and stale crackers

By K.J. Cardinal

Today's weather was great, but it paled in comparison to the sight of Anna in a pair of shorts.

If I closed my eyes, I bet I could hear my Papa singing "Who wears short shorts? Anna wears short shorts." He would've gotten quite the kick out of the little one if he laid eyes on her today... I know I did.

With Anna donning shorts for the first time since she's been able to walk, we were off to go feed the ducks.

We hit up this little spot off of Route 20, not the ideal spot for this Granite Stater, but we made due.

Anna thought the ducks, swans and geese were pretty cool, but she didn't really want to "feed" them. Instead, she wanted to eat the stale crackers.

We'd hand her a cracker and she'd immediately put it in her mouth. We tried to explain to her to throw the cracker at the ducks, but she wasn't having it. It was priceless.

I'm psyched that the good weather is here... not because I want to get a tan or go golfing, but because I can't wait to see Anna in shorts everyday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Summer in April

By K.J. Cardinal

It's apparent that we've skipped spring and just jumped directly into summer in April.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the sunshine and 80 degree days, but spring and fall are my favorite seasons, so I would like to get a few weeks of nice spring weather to whet my appetite.

Anyway, I had loads of work to do today, but I got up early and cranked everything out by 4 p.m. so we could go to our family hot spot lately, Wood Park.

It was packed with families doing everything from playing baseball to lacrosse. Amidst the chaos I was able to snap these two gems. Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

No more monkees

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna's favorite book these days is the age old Five Little Monkees.

We have read the book to Anna so many times that she knows the words and gestures we make when we read it to her. Take a look for yourself and you'll soon wish you could read a book to Anna.


*The above link will be added at the bottom of all blog posts containing video from now on so the clips can be accessed through facebook notes as well.

**Also, full screen viewing for all youtube clips from here on out will now be available by clicking the second button from the right below each clip.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A cupcake for a cupcake

By K.J. Cardinal

The cutest little cupcake in the world, Miss Natalie Jane, got a cupcake of her own today at her 1st birthday party.

Natalie technically turned one on April 13, but Tiff and Pete threw the big bash for her today at their new home in Northwood... and it was quite the turnout.

The Cardinal and George families get along notoriously well, so it was a blast, as always.

Natalie was a cutie all day, but she really stole the show when she ate her cupcake. She really enjoyed the whipped cream and made short work of devouring the cupcake altogether.

Anna had a good time... mostly playing with Marissa, Missy & Pat's daughter. The last two times we've had family gatherings with the Lord family (my Dad's sisters family), Anna has really taken to Marissa... and vice versa.

Marissa was instrumental in helping Anna up the ladder so she could, of course, go down the slide a million times. Thanks for all the help Marissa!

There were lots of kiddos running around, none cuter than Ben, John & Nikoll Lauze's son. Unfortunately I didn't snap a picture of Ben, but he's actually probably smarter than he is cute, which is saying A LOT!

Three and a half year old Ben really put on a show for me. As he recited the planets in order and then he asked me "Do you know how many moons Saturn has?" And, I said, "Two?" Then, Ben said, "No... SIXTY!" It was classic.

Anyway, thanks for a great party Tiff & Pete, Natalie is quite the cupcake.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Anna the conquerer

By K.J. Cardinal

Today wasn't the first time that Anna has gone up and down stairs by herself, she's actually been doing it at home for months now. But the reckless abandon that she showed conquering the playground today really made her old man proud.

Running across the footbridge and going up the stairs and down the slide countless times have become second nature to Anna.

The highlight of our trip to Wood Park today, other than having Angie, Scott and Jamie come and join us for lunch, was when Anna totally dominated a two and half year old boy.

The little guy, Dillon, was meandering up the stairs and standing at the top of the platform by the slides. His dad was actually up there with him (so soft) and trying to coax the kid to go down the slide.

He was wimpering and whining, all while Anna was making her way up the stairs by herself. She sat on the slide next to the kid and went right down it.

Dillon's dad tried counting for Anna to go down the slide, but by the time he got "one, tw" out of his mouth, Anna had already tossed herself down the slide. It was awesome.

I don't consider myself a competitive parent by any means, but that moment definitely made me a very proud papa.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pool with Mommy & Meme

By K.J. Cardinal

I finally had a chance to take the videos from Steele Hill off my camcorder and put together these two gems. Enjoy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fun at the pool

By K.J. Cardinal

I never really like to put a bunch of photos in one post, but our trip to the pool this morning yielded some award-winning stuff and I couldn't choose just one or two to post. So, I've posted the best of the best. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

One and half and livin' life

By K.J. Cardinal

Today marks Anna's year and a half birthday... and she's never had it so good.

As you know, we're up at Steele Hill and spoiling our baby at every turn.

This morning we woke up and spent some quality time in the pool. This time we brought her inflatable duckie for her to sit in and she loved it. She was so comfortable in fact, that I thought she could fall asleep. I have some good video footage that I'll post when I get a chance.

After our morning in the pool, we came back for lunch and then Anna took her nap. When Anna awoke we decided to make a beer run, which actually turned into quite a great afternoon.

While we were out and about, we decided to be adventurous since Anna was in such a great mood and take a little hike out to Profile Falls. The falls were rather impressive and Anna was just happy to be outside.

We threw her in the MacPac and off we went. Angie got a little nervous a few times as I was hiking with Anna on my back. Let me clarify that Ang was nervous because I was carrying Anna... NOT because she was worried about MY safety :)

After a good stop at Profile Falls, we were off to get that beer. We ended up picking up the cheapest bottle of champagne we could find (Angie's such a cheap drunk) and then headed back to Steele Hill.

Anna wanted in on the bubbly. Obviously that wasn't going to happen, but I was nice enough to let her drink some water out of a wine glass... which she LOVED.

At just a year and a half, Anna had a sophisticated celebration.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Relaxin at Steele Hill

By K.J. Cardinal

Steele Hill was a sight for sore eyes today, especially for Angie, as it represents a few days of rest and relaxation.

We checked in around 3 p.m. and after making what seemed like a million trips to and from the car, we got settled in around 4:30. Naturally, we immediately cracked a few bevs and then made our way to the pool.

I was definitely excited to see how Anna would react to the pool this year and she didn't disappoint. She LOVES it. She's so smiley and doesn't mind if she gets water on her face, in her mouth, in her eyes or pretty much anywhere.

Seriously, I pushed my luck a little by dunking her under and splashing with her and she seemed rather unfazed. It was great.

We took her into the kiddie pool and she liked to walk around in the 2-foot water, but it was pretty chilly compared to the big pool, which was too warm for my liking.

Anyway, I have been going to Steele Hill for 15+ years now and it was the first time that they made any changes to the pool area. It's definitely the big attraction up here, so I didn't know what to think when Angie told me they had installed a new slide, but I was glad to see that they replaced the old slide with an even bigger, cooler slide.

For those of you have been up here before, here's a look at the new slide. It's great. Kids can really get a full head of steam going down it now because of the bar at the top of the slide that they can hold onto to propel themselves down the slide. What I'd give to be 12-years-old again.

After the pool, we just came back to the room for dinner and to hang out, just the three of us before settling in to watch the Final Four.

We splurged a little and bought some nice shrimp at the market earlier today and it was a riot to see Anna give them a spin. She didn't really care for them that much, but at least she tried them and we all learned that she LOVES cocktail sauce.

It was pretty funny because she'd just dip her shrimp into Angie's cocktail sauce and lick the sauce off it... see...

Well, that's it for today. I'm sure I'll have more tomorrow.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mini-vacation has begun

By K.J. Cardinal

I just made myself a thing of beauty... a Black & Tan. Our mini-vacation has officially begun.

Angie, Anna and I are going to Steele Hill, our timeshare in Sanbornton, NH, tomorrow afternoon and returning on Monday night. We will be back at home for Tuesday through Thursday and then heading back up Thursday night with Sammy in tow and returning Saturday.

Last year's April Vacation yielded some great moments in Anna's young life and also some very bloggable stuff. Unfortunately I have quite a bit of work to get done while I'm up there, but hopefully I can do that at night and enjoy the days with the fam and also do some quality posts.

If you're in the area and want to stop by, shoot me an email and we can try to work something out. I can't wait to get Anna back in the pool... should be lots of fun.

What on earth have I done

By K.J. Cardinal

Much to my chagrin, I caved into the peer pressure that's been haunting me for months now and joined Facebook last night.

It's already spiraling out of control. I have definitely been able to reconnect with quite a few people that I haven't seen in a long time, so it's good, but I'm just wondering... does this ever stop?

Constant postings on my wall, chatting, friend requests... it seems never ending.

I'm afraid that I may have unleashed a beast that will eventually be the downfall of my business that I'm trying to run.

Anyway, I know I needed another social networking outlet like I need a hole in the head, but I was just sick of running into random people here and there and asking "Are you on Facebook?"... and having a look of shock come over their face when I said "No."

So, if you ever want to stalk me I not only have this blog, but now Facebook, Twitter and Posterous. I have no one to blame but myself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Everybody loves Sweet Baby Ray

By K.J. Cardinal

Well, this is definitely a first for me and the Cardinal Blog as I am dedicated this post to Sweet Baby Ray.

I know that you may be saying, "What on earth does Sweet Baby Ray have to do with the Cardinal family?" But, quite a lot actually.

Ray has become an integral part of my everyday life. After Bud Light, I'd say it's #2 on my Food & Drinks I Can't Live Without list.

I'm sure most of you have experienced Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce, which is amazing to say the least, but what really has me loving Ray these days is the Buffalo Wing Sauce. It is the most amazing sauce that I have ever tasted.

My only complaint about the sauce is its name. I mean, by calling it "Buffalo Wing Sauce" it almost makes me look foolish for putting it on anything and everything that I eat.

Every morning I make myself an egg white omelet and soak it in the "Buffalo Wing Sauce". I have used it on everything from sandwiches to pizza to soups and even cottage cheese. I have literally tried it on probably 75% of the foods that I eat.

It's just remarkable how much I love it and I have my parents to thank for this new addiction.

I don't believe the Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Wing Sauce is available over-the-counter, but my parents get it direct through a vendor for their catering needs... thus the huge jug of it I have posted above. I go through a full squirt bottle (also pictured above) in about a 10-14 days.

The sauce is so unique. It's got some spice to it, but not too much. It tastes so creamy, almost buttery, and just complements everything so well. My mouth is watering as I type this...for real.

No, I'm not getting paid by Sweet Baby Ray to write this post, which should be obvious since the Buffalo Wing Sauce isn't available over-the-counter, but the next time you're over my house be sure to ask me for a taste. If you forget to ask, don't worry, I'm sure you'll see that little squirt bottle not too far away from whatever I'm eating.