Monday, December 29, 2008


I am suffering from a severe lack of motivation. I guess maybe it is post holiday let down. I just don't feel like doing much of anything that really needs doing. There are a billion toys still under the tree and I have no idea where I am going to put them all. I still have a bunch of leftover food that is slowly spoiling in the fridge because we can't eat it all as well as a mulititude of baked goods going stale because there is only so many cookies you can eat. (And silly me was worried about not having enough food!) There is a mountain of laundry to be folded and put away and the countertops are covered with half finished art projects.
But do I care?
Not really.
It is Christmas break with the kids and it is time to hang out and play. All that stuff will wait, it's not going anywhere. Well I guess it's possible something in the fridge might grow legs and walk away so maybe I should tackle the fridge, but the rest can wait.

I am also completely bummed that most of the Christmas photos I took were not that great. Playing hostess and photographer did not go hand in hand for me this holiday and I wish I had just set the camera on auto and not worried about settings or flash because I handled both poorly. I also wish I had taken more photos. But whats done is done. I'll stop the pity party now and share some pics.
The most popular present was Spyro Dawn of the Dragon for the playstation. There was a rotating round of players from about 7:30 in the morning that continued all day. Notice Boomer in the bottom of the picture hoping to score some food while everyone is distracted by the game.

And here are the girls making cookies for Santa on Christmas eve. You can see how thrilled they are to have their picture taken. Especially my oldest. She has that "What the heck are you doing?" look. She learned that look from her cousin Jill.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas

We here in the Ciolino home had a very merry Christmas. Festivities began on Christmas eve with the arrival of Nonna, Nonno, Aunty Lisa and Uncle Chuck. We had a traditional Italian Christmas eve meal with lots of yummy food thanks to Nonna. Baked stuffed shrimp, stuffed clams and haddock topped with scallops and lobster were some to the things we enjoyed.
Everyone spent the night to enjoy waking up Christmas morning with the girls. On Christmas we were then joined by my parents and uncle. We feasted on Ham and lots of yummy side dishes. It was fun to be surrounded by family and everyone had a good time.
The day after Christmas was a "girls day out" thanks to Aunty Lisa and Uncle Chuck who provided the girls with tickets to Disney on Ice. So Nonna, Aunty Lisa and the girls and I headed into Boston to see the show. It was a great show and we all had lots of fun.
It was a very fun and very busy three days and I, for one am exhausted. Today is a very low key day and I admit I am even too lazy to download pictures to go along with this post which considering how much I enjoy taking and sharing photos lets you know just how tired I am. I did want to take the time to do this post to let you know what we've been up to and to let you know I plan on elatborating on the holiday activities, complete with pictures, very soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New family member

Just a quick little post to say congratulations to my niece Jen and her husband Micah who are the proud new parents of a baby girl. Abigail Mira Gelman was born early yesterday morning and is of course absolutely beautiful. This makes me a Great Aunt (well, I've always been a great aunt, Right Jen and Jill??) My parents are now Great grandparents and my brother and sister- in- law grandparents! That's a little weird to think about but very cool to have a new baby in the family!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ice Storm Pictures

Here are some pictures from around the yard of the ice storm. This is one of my favorites:

In this one the goldfinch is resting on a cherry tree that has fallen into the yard, that is why the icicles appear to be pointing upwards.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm Back!

Yes, it's true we survived the great ice storm of 2008! Wow what a storm it was too!
I have many more pictures to share but this one will have to do for now.
I have to admit that I was not expecting the storm to be as bad as it was and I would have rather had snow over all this ice anyday.
I have counted my blessings repeatedly over the past several days knowing that we and those we love were able to ride out this storm without much incident.
So here my personal account.
Thursday morning I took the kids to school as usual and it was already rain mixing with sleet making some of the back roads slick. I kept an eye on the weather outside as well as the news on TV and it wasn't long before the stairs and deck were starting to get a slight glaze on them.
I went to get Kenzie out of Kindergarten at 10:45. The main roads were in good shape but the back roads were still slick in spots. Going on Motherly instinct I decided to pull Becca out of school too, why go out into the messy weather again in a couple of hours. It wasn't going to get better outside.The news was saying to was going to last all night into Friday at noon. Becca was suprised to see me but I think maybe a little secretly pleased to get to leave early. After getting everyone settled at home I checked the news to see that they were closing the school early. Ahh my instincts are pretty good after all. Dom got home safely that night saying the road crews were doing a good job and the roads were in good shape.
I was just happy to have everyone at home.
Not long after he got home I let the dogs out and I could here the sleet coming down like crazy. The rest of our evening continued as normal and sometime after 11 the electricity went out. We kinda expected this. It's not the first time we had lost electricity because of a little ice. Little did we know what was going on outside.
Around 2am Dom and I both had gotten up to use the bathroom and after getting into bed again, suddenly we heard a loud creaking, crackling and crashing noise outside. Branches were starting to fall under the weight of the ice. This couldn't be good. The noise sent the girls rushing into our bedroom where they spent the rest of the night in our bed. No one got a lot of sleep from that point on. The eerily quiet night was repeatedly broken by the crashing of branches and the shattering of icicles. When your home is surrounded by trees this is a very scary sound as you wonder if the creaking is going to send a branch crashing through your roof!
Not suprisingly we were up early on Friday morning and looked outside to find the world covered in ice. Branches littered the ground everywhere and continued to fall randomly throughout the morning. Trees and branches were bent over everywhere under the weight of the ice but at the same time it was incredibly beautiful, like a sparkly fairy wonderland.
I stared out the window feeling a large range of emotions run through me, awe at the beauty, sadness at the broken and bent trees and concern. This wasn't going to be few hours of no electricity this was big. Did the whole state look like this??
Lucky for us we have a generator and when we built the house we had a panel put in so basically we plug in the generator and are good to go. We had heat, water (hot showers), refrigerator and few outlets in the kitchen- (Coffee!) as well as several outlets in the living room which meant TV,DVD, and playstation. We had no cable or internet though and my only source of news was the radio and the scanner. Basically we were very comfortable though Kenzie really missed the internet! I missed being able to blog since I had something to blog about! We passed the time playing games both on the playstation and regular board games, our elves brought us two new games too which was helpful! Watching Christmas movies was fun too. Reading (for me anyway) was a popular pastime too. Photography kept Dom and I busy also , but I didn't feel real safe being outside. Branches and ice were still falling. Friday afternoon the sun actually came out and I ventured outside again but now the ice was melting and it was raining from the trees. In some cases pretty big chunks!
Sunday afternoon we finally got the electricity back but still no cable or internet. Today we have cable and internet back. There is no school for much of the state including us. There is still a lot of people without power and a lot of schools are being used as shelters. Everything is getting back to normal for us. My parents are still without electricity but they have a generator too so they are warm.
I will be posting more pictures soon - hopefully later today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just Chillin'

Just a quick post with a few pics I thought were cute. Becca and Boomer all cuddled up on the couch together this morning. Becca was supposed to be getting ready for school but as you can see she wasn't moving too fast! And Boomer, well there is nothing Boomer likes more than to have someone snuggle with him. Of course he didn't move much even after Becca got up!

This was also photography practice in low light. I really prefer not to use flash especially onboard flash. I have an off camera flash that I hope to master while being stuck inside most of the winter. Anyway this picture is low light no flash with a 50mm 1.4. This is an awesome lens for indoors and will hardly leave my camera all winter.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A few crafts

I haven't been crafting as much as I would like but here are a few quick things that I have done.

The first one is an ornament that can be make with scrapbook paper or even photos or children's artwork. It's best to use two sided paper or just glue two pieces of paper together.

And here are the easy step by step directions:
First take a 5x7 piece of scrapbook paper or picture and cut it into 1/2 inch strips.

Next punch a small whole in each end.

Place a brad through each hole like this:

Pull the pieces apart to form a ball and tie a string around the brad to hang it up.

Here's a photo one:

This is the only knitting I have been doing. These are fluffy snowballs for indoor snowball fights!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Look

Been playing around with the look of my blog. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Crime

Here is the crime scene:

Here is the suspect seen running from the scene:

Actually, I don't really blame the cat even though she was at the scene of the crime. She has always been good with the tree. She does like to sleep under it as you can see from the picture and she has been known to bat at the ornaments on occasion.

I think this may have more to with a faulty tree stand. We had a hard time getting the tree to stand straight in the stand and I think that any simple move may have toppled it. Luckily no one got hurt, though I have seen the cat since she went scrambling from the scene. We do unfortunately have a few broken ornaments and I spent a lot of time sopping up the water that spilled everywhere. This is the first time we've ever had a tree topple over and hopefully it will be the last!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Merry Mischief Makers

For the past several years we have been visited by elves from December 1st until Christmas eve. Their names are Deenie and Jeannie and they cause a lot of mischief and often leave little trinkets for the girls. I think I have mentioned them briefly before but it seems this year that they want to join the blogging world and have started their own blog to chronicle their antics while they visit. Since the elves are on what could best be described as vacation they will be blogging daily and have agreed to include some fun craft activities and recipes straight from the kitchen of Mrs. Claus! So for a daily dose of Chrismas fun please visit their blog at