Thursday, March 17, 2011

Paul's Visit

Madeline hamming it up for Aunt Penny
Can you see the "I'm wound up!" look??
My brother Paul and his family visited from Kentucky this past weekend.  We had a houseful and I enjoyed every minute of it!  Staying at my house was Paul, my sister-in-law Penny, niece Rachel, Rachel's boyfriend Garrett, niece Becky, and Becky's fiance Zac.  I love when family visits!!  This visit, however, seemed to go too quickly.  The worst part though is the fact that I didn't even take out my camera for pictures - not even my cell phone camera!!  So, I appreciate the fact that Penny, Becky and Zac posted pictures on Facebook that I could steal and share on my blog.  Below, I will try to give a quick synopsis of the weekend.

One pic that Madeline is actually upright
Down she goes!
Madeline milkin' it for cousin time with Becky & Rachel
Friday night, Paul, Penny, Becky & Zac arrived from Lexington Kentucky.  Prior to their arrival, our little party animal daughter was beside herself with excitement during all the preparations for company.  Madeline was screeching and jumping up and down as we filled air mattresses for the boys' room.  Madeline's excitement grew to a crescendo throughout the weekend as anyone who came in contact with her could attest to.  David even commented that Madeline, the party gal, is truly her mama's daughter!  I was amazed that she fell asleep before the Kentucky crew arrived.  Upon arrival, it was nice to catch up with everyone as they unwound from their drive.  We chatted and enjoyed each other's company for a few hours.

Becky & Zac getting silly at the ice rink
Duff's - *real* Buffalo wings
Saturday was a busy day for everyone.  Knowing that a feast was planned for later in the evening and many preparations needed to be made I tossed out some bagels & cream cheese, Timbits (donut holes) and fresh fruit for breakfast.  During that time, my niece Rachel (who is attending college in Pittsburgh) arrived with her new boyfriend Garrett.  Due to her work schedule, Rachel was not able to stay as long as the rest of the gang and since she was not able to head to Buffalo the last time the Kentucky group was in, I was very happy that she was able to make the trip.  Additionally, I had the opportunity to meet Rachel's boyfriend, Garrett.

Aunt Sue, Kaye & Jim
Uncle Tom & Eric
Uncle Ron aka "The Duke"
Me looking very ROUND! Not sure if the baby is in my face or tummy!
Rachel, Garrett & Zac
Paul, Jim, Luke, Rachel, David & Madeline - buffet time
Once everyone filled their tummies and wiped the gifts left by the sandman from their eyes, the young ens were antsy to go do something. And I was in need of making preparations for the evening's get together.  Paul, Becky, Zac, Rachel, Garrett, David and Madeline headed into downtown Buffalo to do some ice skating at the outdoor rink.  I was hoping Madeline would show off her skating skills that she has been acquiring during her skating lessons that we have been sending her to.  She really, really is becoming a good skater but, according to David, Madeline kept falling (on purpose).  Madeline was milking it for all the attention she could and everyone (including David), who isn't fully aware of her ability, was falling for it hook, line & sinker.  And so Madeline got to take turns holding every one's hand around the rink.  Little stinker!!  They also headed out to Duff's for some *real* Buffalo chicken wings. (They prefer Duff's to the Anchor Bar - Home of the Original Wings).  While everyone was out ice skating, Penny and I stayed behind to start getting thing ready for the evening.  During that time, I undoubtedly began to feel the baby moving around.  It is amazing how light (for now!) those little tickles feel! 

Saturday evening we enjoyed a family gathering.  In addition to the 6 joining us from my brother's family, we enjoyed the evening with more family. My Aunt Sue & Uncle Ron, Uncle Tom & Aunt Mary Grace their adult kids - my cousins, Malina, Malina's hubby Eric, Luke, Julie (their other daughter Kellie couldn't make it because of work) and also another cousin (my late Aunt JoJo's son) Jim and Jim's wife Kaye.  Even though I and they all live locally we don't get the opportunity to see each other as often as I would like.  We had a houseful of family and I loved every second!  In true Polish fashion (and the fact that I am my mother's daughter) we had enough food to feed an army!  I was extremely grateful to Uncle Tom & Aunt Sue for their major dish contributions.  It made things so easy for me!!  Uncle Tom brought barbecue hamburgers and Costanza's rolls (locals know that there are no better rolls than Costanzas!), Aunt Sue brought a huge crock of Bigos (a Polish hunter's stew), I had a platter of Redlinski's ham & Swiss, rye bread, of course Weber's mustard & horseradish, homemade baked bean salad, a relish tray, and ambrosia with Acini Di Pepe.  Additionally, I made a couple quick desserts however the star attractions for dessert were the amazing truffles that Becky made (in particular, the Oreo truffles!!) and the HUGE tray of desserts made by my Aunt Mary Grace which included brownies, chocolate chip cookies and the most amazing cheesecake (I was quite sad when the last piece of cheesecake was

The guys' view at the game
Rachel at Niagara Falls
Sunday was Paul's 49th birthday. I made what my brother, Marty, calls my "company breakfast" of scrambled eggs, sausage, "monkey bread", pineapple and strawberries.  The daylight savings time change totally messed with all of us and so we had a very lazy morning.  In the evening, we all split up to do different things.  Madeline stayed home with a babysitter. David, Paul, Zac & a high school/college friend of Paul's (Vinnie) went to the Buffalo Sabres hockey game.  Rachel and Garrett went to explore Niagara Falls. Penny, Becky and I went to do some shopping.  The first order of business in our shopping was a stop to David's Bridal shop.  Becky and Zac are engaged to be married in May of 2012.  While in Buffalo, they also asked Madeline to be their flower girl!!!  We headed to David's bridal to peek at some dresses.  Penny browsed through the mother of the bride dresses, we glanced at a few flower girl dresses and Becky was able to (for the first time!!) try on a few wedding dresses.  I was so happy to be part of that!  And Becky has the cutest little figure that she looked gorgeous in whatever she tried on (Pictures have to wait until the wedding day!).  Becky is such a pretty girl and she will make a beautiful bride!!  My question, however, is where did that little girl go??  When did my little niece become a woman??  Geez, time passes quickly!  Afterward, all 8 of us met up after the hockey game at an Elmwood restaurant/brew pub called Blue Monk.  Together we enjoyed dinner in honor of Paul's birthday and Rachel picked up a birthday cake while she and Garrett were out and brought it into the restaurant to share after dinner.  Right after the late dinner, Rachel and Garrett had to head back to Pittsburgh because Rachel had to work the next morning.  Leaving at 11pm-ish for a 4 hour drive???  And then get to work at 8am?? be young again!

Hat shopping with Madeline
Becky & Zac's flower girl at crescendo level!
Monday morning also had a slow start to the day.  Madeline had school in the AM and I had a few things to attend to while she was at school so the gang was left to fend for themselves for the morning. (I wasn't them worried about anyone starving as there were plenty of goodies to graze on for breakfast).  In the afternoon, we hung out and my techie brother fixed my computer's connection to my wireless printer.  You have NO idea how huge that is for me!!!  Later, we headed out to the outlet mall for some shopping.  Becky and Zac actually had enough courage to let Madeline tag along with them for a while.  Madeline, by this time of the visit, was near the peak of the crescendo of how wound up she could actually be.  So, I am not exaggerating when I say they were brave.  Becky and Zac also spoiled her and bought her a dress while they were shopping together.  The wound-up child tried on the dress with them and then proceeded to be goofy by putting on her clothes the wrong way before coming out of the dressing room.  I see sainthood in Becky and Zac's future!  After the mall, the Kentucky gang wanted to make their pilgrimage to Wegman's to get all the Buffalo items that they cannot buy in Kentucky.  They packed a cooler with all the goodies they wished to bring home with them.  For dinner, request, more Duff's wings and also some of the best WNY pizza, the pizzeria of our childhood, Leonardi's.....yum!

Tuesday morning, the Kentucky gang was on the road early.  The house was quiet and days of gluttony were complete.  I enjoyed our time together but it went too quickly!  My mom would always have a day or two of "the blues" after my brothers and/or sisters visited and then left.  I now understand that fully.  And realize that I may not see them again until July's annual campout.  Whaaaaa!!!!

1 comment:

Marty said...

Looks like you all had a great time!