La Familia Bell

Sunday, December 30, 2007

HO HO HO! Merry Christmas!!!!

Well we had a relatively quiet Christmas. We spent Christmas eve at Nana & Papa Aviles' house. We still got all dressed up because that was the tradition I grew up with - always dressing up for the holidays no matter how small the get-together. AJ was very excited to wear his Mickey tie and shirt though! We had a really good time and dinner at Nana's.

cousin Joey and AJ

AJ and Mommy

On Christmas morning we opened presents at home then got ready and went to Nana & Papa Aviles' again and did our gift exchange there. AJ got tons of gifts clothes, etc. but the favorite was a cleaning set that included a pretend vacuum and AJ pretty much used it the rest of the day. We were home early enough and for dinner we had yummy take-out Chinese food. That may well become our little family tradition - no mess, no cooking/cleaning what more could you ask for?

Sleepy AJ at home

Trying out the desk from Santa

This past Saturday Dec. 29th we went to Nana & Papa Bell's to do Christmas and to celebrate Nana Bell's birthday. AJ was up at 7AM crying in his room and when I go in the 1st thing he says is he wants to leave to go to nana Bell's house - a LITTLE too early so I told him nana was still sleeping. we left around 9:30 and got there a bit after noon. AJ runs right to nana hugs her and says "you got presents for me nana??" so she said he could open ONE present and we'd have to wait for papa to get home from work before we opened the rest. He loves flashlights so his 1st present was a CARS flashlight and he was fine with that and didn't ask about presents again until 4:30 when he hears the door and sees papa. Again he runs over to him and says hello, kisses, hugs, etc. then tells him "come on, we gotta open the presents now!!!!" Papa Bell wasn't even past the entryway at this point.

posing by Nana Bell's tree

AJ got a remote control choo choo from nonnie (great grandma) and he LOVES it!!! nana and papa got him a Black and Decker tool bench and he kept wanting us to open it because he wanted to "fix" things!!! Brian only took out the screwdriver and he played with that most the rest of the night. Uncle Chris got him a CARS lego set which AJ also liked a lot. Al even stopped by to visit while we were at Nana & Papa Bell's and we got to hang out with him for a while and find out all the fun things his twins have been up to!

AJ & the tool set

Dad, AJ and Al hanging out

We left Nana and Papa's a bit late but it was worth it to watch most of the Patriots game. AJ had fun cheering on "Go Patriots" - even on the car ride home after their last TD we heard "Go Patriots" then he was out like a light.

To see more pictures, click HERE

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's the Name Game...

Jack, Jack, bo-back,
Banana-fana fo-fack

I'm sure many of you remember that game. You can thank me later for getting that song stuck in your head! We're open to suggestions, but some of the names we're currently throwing around include: Brady Oliver, Riley, Tyler, Julian - in no particular order or grouping (except the first one). I was surprised that even Brian was on one of the lists we looked at - #63! Not to worry, we didn't do a "junior" the first time around and we won't this time either.

Yup, another productive night at work! :o)

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's a.....BOY!

You may have heard that roughly 3 years ago. Well, we liked saying it so much we've decided to say it again. Millie had her ultrasound appointment on Monday and all indications are that baby #2 is healthy and currently weighs in at about 9 ounces.
This baby was very shy and didn't want to reveal his gender to us. His feet were crossed and he was hunched up - hiding the goods. Finally the doctor took a second look and was able to determine that baby #2 is a boy.
No name ideas yet, but stay tuned.

If plans continue, on or around April 30th we'll be having dinner at Pepe's in New Haven and our new arrival will make his appearance shortly thereafter. Gotta keep up traditions!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bell Family Vacation - Fall 2007

I'm sure this will come as a big surprise to those of you that are regular readers of the blog, but we just got back from a week's vacation at Disney World in Orlando. Our trip started off after a Thanksgiving meal at the Nana & Papa Bell's house in Massachusetts. Millie braved the Black Friday crowds very early (4am!) but scored some really great deals in tax-free New Hampshire. Later that day we took our shuttle bus into Logan Airport and started our journey to Florida by way of Chicago. We got in pretty late to our timeshare at Saratoga Springs, but were ready and raring to go the next day! We had a great view of the Downtown Disney area from the Rainforest Cafe at one end all the way to the Cirque du Soleil tent at the other.

We spent a day at each of the parks and Millie planned all of our dining activities: Breakfast with Jojo and the Playhouse Disney gang, Lunch with Pooh and Friends, dinner at Teppan Edo (EPCOT), Il Mulino (WDW Swan), and even an "adults night out" that took us to the Ohana restaurant at the Polynesian Resort. We also enjoyed Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and extended hours in the Magic Kingdom, as well as the parades and other holiday festivities going on in all of the parks.

Our Florida weather was absolutely perfect - 80s and Sunny every day until the day we left for home. AJ had lots of fun in Minnie's house, riding the Teacups and the Carousel, and taking pictures with all of the characters. We even managed to get a little shopping in at Downtown Disney.

Click HERE to view pictures from Days 1-3, and HERE for Days 4 & 5.
WARNING: There are lots of pictures!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Day out with Thomas the Train

Today was our Day out with Thomas. Can I just say that it was the MOST BITTER cold day we've had yet???? Ugghhhh. AJ has been excited about this event for days. He was looking forward to a 'train ride" and he knew Thomas would be there but he didn't really comprehend what it all entailed until we got there. Thomas and Train friends were EVERYWHERE. He was so glad to see it all. Our tickets for the ride also included many different activities at the train yard. We started out having lunch then we hit the carnival rides before our Thomas ride. AJ loved the horseys as usual and the small train ride was a hit! He wanted to go on the small train again but we had to make our boarding time. Once he SAW Thomas all was fine. He couldn't wait to get on the train! He wanted to see everything out the window and was cheering Thomas on. Once our ride was over he wanted to go again but we told him there were other things we were going to do. We stopped by the gift shop and AJ got some goodies from mom and Nana then we took pictures by Percy and hit the carnival rides again before coming home. AJ was asleep in the car soon after and tonight as we were getting ready for bed he told me that he wanted to go on Thomas the train again and he wanted daddy to come too. Dad at the last minute had to travel for work so AJ was just as happy that Nana came with us BUT I think he wants daddy to get his Junior Conductor Certificate too! :o)

Click HERE to see pictures from the day

Friday, November 09, 2007

Meeting Santa Claus

On Friday I picked AJ up early from school and we headed over to one of our local malls to meet and greet Santa. They were also doing lots of other holiday activities and the first 50 families got 2 pics for free. AJ was very excited and looking forward to seeing Santa. We were lucky enough to have gotten there about 15 minutes before Santa and the line was only long AFTER we got there. We were like the 30th 'family" in line and after me it was like a swarm of people trying to line up. I think what made the difference was that we didn't bother with the Santa Sleigh parade through the upper level of the mall but instead got right in line downstairs and waited for Santa to arrive.There was entertainment and AJ enjoyed the Christmas music and he got a balloon Happy Faced dog. He also got presents from the elves.AJ was very impressed with the Snow Dome theme and he thought it was cool that we had to go into one in order to get to Santa. He didn't want to sit on Santa's lap on his own and insisted I sit with him so I obliged but he was great about talking to Santa and telling him he was a good boy. Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas and AJ said he wanted books, crayons and cars. Go figure - cars!!!
Santa gave AJ a snow dome puzzle and AJ was just so impressed with the gift Santa had just given him that he took it - stared at it, stared and smiled at Santa and gave him the most heartfelt "thaaaaaank yoouuuuuu" I've ever heard :smile: All in all a GREAT night out with Santa!

Click HERE for pictures from the night.

I still have to scan the free one the mall took of us. I'll add that later on.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ralph goes to the Vet

There is at least one day out of the year where Ralph is a totally different CALM, well behaved pup. Usually it's the day he goes to the vet for his annual exam (or back for a nail trim). See - Ralph must have been traumatized at one point by a groomer who cut his nails and he becomes a totally different Cujo-type dog if anyone attempts to cut his nails. To avoid the "trauma" that he goes through, a few years ago his vet suggested tranquilizing him prior to his visit to the vet and then they'd be able to cut his nails.
Shortly after the meds are administered his eyes get all glassy and he gets the "dopey" look and just CHILLS. Which is great compared to the sometimes crazy running around and tail wagging he is well known for. This visit to the vet was no different though he did challenge them come nail clipping time (the dose he got was a bit less than what he's used to).
What cracked us up was that on the way home, he tried to make himself as comfortable as possible. He tried to squeeze into AJ's carseat and Brian had to literally carry him out of the car once we got home because he just did not want to get out of the car. By 4pm he was back to his normal goofy-no drug self.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

2007 Torringford Fireman's Ball

On Saturday night some of the ESPN crew attended the 50th Annual Torringford Fireman's Ball. As always we had a great time even though I'm personally very dissapointed that I didn't win any of the raffle prizes. I thought we had an "in" with Mike! Food was very good, the company was GREAT and we all had a great time! For more about the Fire Dept, check out

The "gang"

The Girls

The Guys
Click HERE to see more pictures

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!!!

Well, we're not sure if we can call Halloween a hit or not. AJ had a Halloween party at school and from what the teachers reported, he had a great time. They went on "parade" around the school in their costumes then they had a party with lots of food and Halloween goodies.

When I picked AJ up at school to go trick or treating around Nana's neighborhood he wanted absolutely nothing to do with his costume. I was able to get it on so that Nana and Papa could see him but he wanted it off about as soon as I got it on and wasn't too thrilled with the costume. He got his little goodie bag from nana but we didn't trick or treat. AJ enjoyed watching the kids that came dressed up to the house (both Nana's and ours) but he still wanted NOTHING to do with his costume.

Once we got back home, it took a bribe of mom letting him hold her Bath and Body lotion for him to agree to put the costume on so we could snap a few pictures. He did enjoy dad helping him "fly" but wanted the costume off as soon as possible!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Visit to Nana & Papa Bell's

We drove up to visit Nonnie & Nana & Papa Bell on October 28th. We surprised Nonnie for her birthday and AJ was very excited to deliver her birthday card. We then drove to Nana & Papa's with Nonnie and had a lot of fun. AJ enjoyed looking at the duckies and trying to throw leaves in the pond and had a blast trying to tackle Papa to the ground.

Another hit of the afternoon for AJ was playing with Nonnie's old-style Jack in the Box. He was histerical, and we all loved his reaction!

We all had a great time and AJ loved singing Happy Birthday to Nonnie and of course eating cake - his and mommy's.

click HERE to view more pictures then on 'view slideshow'

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Apple Picking

AJ was very excited at the idea of apple picking again this year. We went to a Roger's Orchards in Southington but we stopped by their farmstand 1st to check out the goods. We got GREAT apple cider donuts, spiced cookies and apple cider. AJ started picking the apples right out of the baskets at the store! Once we told him we were going to pick apples from the trees all he wanted to do was head out to pick apples. We headed out and had a great time! AJ loved picking apples and we had a really good time. Brian made a DELICIOUS Apple Crisp while I was away in New Jersey and now with the leftover apples we gotta make some pies.

Daddy helping AJ reach apples

Showing off the pickings
Bagging it to take home

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

AJ Makes Dinner

AJ likes to help around the house so on Tuesday night we had him help dad make dinner. Pizza is one of AJ's favorite meals so he was very excited to help dad make dinner. He followed directions pretty well and was concerned about not making a mess. We think his favorite part was putting on the cheese and pepperoni - he ate about as much as he put on the pizza.

waiting on dad and first we put on the sauce......

spreading it w/the spoon and next comes the cheese

and more cheese AND LOTS MORE CHEESE

too much so we eat some, and then comes the pepperoni

and daddy ate some pepperoni too. Then AJ opens the oven

Dad puts it in......

and after dad puts it in the oven, we watch it cook.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fall is Here?

Last week we had the perfect fall weather and we decided to go pumpkin picking. We took AJ to a local farm stand and he had a blast looking at all the pumpkins, picking out his favorite ones AND more importantly dragging the cart back and forth. Of course this week we were back to summer weather but we'll get back to "fall" soon.

Picking out some pumpkins with dad

Click HERE to see more pictures.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More Babies at the Bell's!!!!

Earlier this summer we posted about a special visitor to our residence....

Well we're happy to say that at Brian's last count we have about 17 turtles making their way down to the water.

Click HERE to view more pictures then click on VIEW SLIDESHOW - no need to sign in.

Friday, September 21, 2007

AJ's Big Announcement

While we were all roaming the state pavilion at the Big E last night, we happened on a T-Shirt shop. We bought one and had AJ model it for our friends. He was very pleased with his new shirt though he wasn't quite sure why everybody was so happy about it.
AJ is very excited - for now. Just wait until he has to share his toys! We've added a counter and a new family image...Enjoy! The due date is April 30th

Thursday, September 20, 2007


The ESPN crew spent the evening on Thursday at The Big E. What a better way than to spend the evening eating through the States and enjoying all the crafts, animals and Fried Oreos and of course the BUTTER COWS.
Fun was had by all even though AJ never made it to the "carnival" side of the Big E. AJ and Donovan out-ate Mike - which puts Mike to shame!!! Of course Mike said it was because Rossi wasn't there to go "food for food" with him. The group decided this is a sign that the world must be coming to an end. We just don't know.
Most of us started our eating extravaganza in Connecticut at the Little Taste of Texas stand (the restaurant is in South Windsor) . They have the BEST baked potatoes EVER and YES they're better than Maine!!! They are about the size of Texas and they top them off with your choice of Chilli or BBQ Pulled Pork and you can add the "extras" REAL cheese (not cheez whiz like Maine), REAL bacon (not bacon bits like Maine) and of course about a pound of butter and sour cream.

We moved on to Kettle Corn from New Hampshire. Cheese from Vermont, Lobster Rolls from Maine, Clam Chowder from Massachusetts, Del's Frozen Lemonade, and Lobster Ravioli from Rhode Island. The rest of the ESPN crew (late workers) joined us in RI and we worked our way back through all the states for more. We stopped for fudge, cider donuts then headed over to the petting zoo. AJ and I shied away from the petting zoo - mostly because I can't stand the smell but also because I got attacked last year by some mean goat who thought my sweater was a tasty treat. Instead we headed over to watch and listen to the carousel music and then AJ saw the ponies. He asked to go on the ponies and he really enjoyed the ride. He wanted "more" but it was almost closing time so we told him the pony had to go eat and go "night night" and he was happy with that (thankfully).

Our last stop was at Farm-a-Rama where we saw more animals and AJ really enjoyed the chicks and the piggies. All he keeps talking about is going back to the Big E. Maybe we'll get back before the season ends this year.

Click HERE to see more pictures then click on view slideshow