Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

As we come to the close of another year, it's nice to look back and reflect on all that's happened. So here's what's happened for the Trap family.

January - moved from Michigan to South Carolina, Brady starts walking and talking

February - Brady turned 1, bought a new car, watched the Steelers play in Brady's 1st Super Bowl

March - Nikki turned 25, Brady's 1st airplane ride from Atlanta to Detroit

April - trip to Atlanta, found out about our move to Germany, Brady's first Pens hockey game

May - Andy turned 28, Brady's first trip to Disney, Pat and Chaleece come to visit, Nikki & Andy celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary

June - trip to Columbia, SC, Buks comes to visit

July - trip to Savannah and Charleston, Andy switches from logistics to controlling at the plant, big family trip to Virginia Beach, Nana comes to visit

August - visited Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

September - Brady's first Mets baseball game, Nikki hit her lifetime goal for Weight Watchers

October - Nikki & Brady traveled to Pittsburgh and attend the Pitt vs Utah football game where Nikki performed within Alumni Band celebrating 100 years of Pitt Band and 25 years of Pitt color guard, Brady was Raggedy Andy for Halloween

November - trip to Philadelphia/Delaware, Brady meets his younger cousin, Adalyn, for the first time

December - second trip to Disney, trip to Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Christmas and New Years in Pittsburgh

What we have to look forward to in 2012:

Living in Germany from January-July
Traveling throughout Europe - Nikki & Brady's 1st time there
Nikki & Andy will celebrate 5 years together & 3 years married
Brady will turn 2 & possibly start school in the fall
We will attempt to potty train Brady
Getting our Pitt season tickets back in the fall
Possibly buying a house and settling in one area for the first time in over 2 years!
Maybe even the announcement of a new baby - not yet though ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Handprint Memories

This year for all the grandparents (Brady has eight, broken into five different sets) for Christmas, we decided it would be really cool to go to a paint-your-own pottery place and make hand print plates using Brady's hand. When we were little, we did this in plaster at preschool and the spray painted them gold. My mom still has them in her computer room on his china cabinet, so that helped with this idea.

Brady liked having the paint on his hands. Since we had to repeat this process several times, he learned pretty quickly how it worked and even would reach for the sponge in the paint to put in it on himself.

The hardest part was probably getting him to spread his fingers each time to get a good hand print on the plate. The woman helping us was really impressed with how well he did. We made eight total plates and she said in the time it took to put his hand on all eight, most kids only get one done at his age.

This was what they looked like as the finished product. I wrote his name, the year, and his age on each plate. What they looked like right after Brady put his hand on them is at the top of the post. After the glazing, it took on a darker color.

We completely bought them out of the round plates, so for ours, we decided that we'd do a square plate since all of our dinner plates are white squares and it would fit our style the best. I bought stands for all of them, so they could be displayed by ourselves and each set of grandparents. We also got one for Brady so he can have it when he gets older.

They were a pretty big hit with the grandparents.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!!!

Our Christmas break started a little earlier than we expected when Andy's director let them leave work early on Thursday. We had just met Andy for lunch at Subway on our way home from Gymboree, and we were home about 30 minutes when he texted saying he was on his way home. We had already exchanged gifts, so it was a really nice surprise that Andy had laid out a card for me that contained a Visa gift card that he called my "mommy bonus," and that it would allow me to spend a little money on myself guilt free. It was really exciting for me and I went out that afternoon to get a manicure and pedicure. It was nice to get some time to myself and get pampered at the same time.

That evening, a work friend of Andy's stopped by the house with a present for Brady. We got some takeout from a Japanese hibachi place, which was awesome, then Brady got to open his gift. He got Brady the new hot toy that's an elephant ball popper. It shoots air from its trunk and the balls shoot out from the trunk. Brady had a blast with it and so did Andy's friend, Dennis. We finished packing the car that night, so we could head out the next morning.

We always have the best intentions of getting up early and it never is that early. I think we left the house around 9:30AM. It's about a 10 hour drive to Pittsburgh with stops, but not including traffic, so it can always get longer. The drive started out pretty well, but we hit a lot of traffic about 25 miles from a major interstate split and were slowed up for quite a while. We were in bumper to bumper traffic for about 45 minutes, going only 14 miles, when we saw the sign that said there was going to be one lane ahead. We were in the lane closing, so people in front of us were slowing down to merge and the left lane was slow due to the cars coming over. We kept going to the merge point, and it never came. All that traffic was due to a non-existent merge. One small signed caused all that and as soon as we and everyone else realized that, we were back up to the speed limit.

We stopped in Wytheville, VA to eat lunch and got back on the road. Brady passed out almost as soon as we hit the road and he insisted on being covered up in the blanket he sleeps with every night. Poor little Southern baby can't handle this cold weather.

Normally, we spend Christmas Eve with my parents and then spend that night at Andy's parents so that we're there on Christmas morning with them. This year, Andy's parents decided that they were going to go to Boston to visit his step-mother's family, so we still haven't seen them yet. We went to Andy's Uncle Buks's house on the ride up and had a great dinner with him and Andy's brothers, before heading up to my parents' house.

My brother, Alex, just got a miniature Huskey and brought him with him on Christmas Eve. His name is Karo, and he's only 3 months old. He's the sweetest little dog, loves to cuddle, and of course Brady absolutely loves him! They just chased each other around all day.

Alex's gift to Brady was by far the most exciting. It was large and when we brought it out, Brady gasped excitingly. He was a pro at tearing into presents by then and made short work of it.

I just love the fist bump in the air when he realized what it was. He loves cars and this quad was the perfect present.

The pro rider in action.

In addition to the quad from Alex, Brady got a LeapPad, several books, movies, and clothes from his Nana and Dubby. He also got a generous amount added to his 529 for college. He's a very lucky little boy.

Christmas morning was really relaxed since we'd opened presents on Christmas Eve. Brady was excited to have more candy in his stocking. I had gotten a cold a full week and a half before Christmas and was over it, but of course three days before Christmas, I developed a sore throat and by the time we made it to my parents' house on the 23rd, I had no voice. Half of the words I said from then through Christmas didn't even come out when I said them. Today was the first day I was able to be heard well. It's tradition to go to my Mimi and PopPop's (mom's parents) house for Christmas dinner with my aunts and cousins. Brady didn't nap the whole day and was pretty cranky by the end of the day. The only thing that calmed him down was a nap and then he was ready to join in the fun.

One of my aunts brought a box of poppers and the kids had fun popping them and retrieving the goodies that were inside. Above is my youngest cousin, Ava, wearing the crown from inside the popper and blowing the whistle.

Chloe donning the crown.

And of course, someone put a crown on PopPop.

Brady hanging out with PopPop after everyone else had gone home.

Playing with my old vacuum.

Riding one of the girls' old rocking horses.

The coolest part about this Christmas was that our friend, Nadia, who lives in Switzerland, had her baby girl, Leila. We're very excited for them and can't wait to visit them in the next few months once we get over to Germany.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Cards from Past & Present

Around this time of year, everyone is sending out Christmas cards and we are no exception. We take photos throughout the year (usually on trips) and use some of those in a multi-image card. We end up sending out about 100 (the number grows each year), due a large extended family and friends on top of that. This is something that I was a part of growing up for my parents' card, so I continue it today. Above is a picture of all of us together at Thanksgiving. Since all of us kids are grown up and live in different states, we only all get together once or twice a year. Usually only two of us get together in any varying combination. So in the picture from left to right is Lauren (Alex's girlfriend), Alex, me, Brady, Andy, and Chris. To make you realize how long we go without seeing each other, Chris had never met Lauren before and she's been with Alex almost two years now.

2011 (Disney World and Virginia Beach)

2010 (Brady's 1st Christmas)

2009 (The year we got married)

2008 (Our 1st Christmas card we sent out together when we were engaged)

Before I entered the Trap family, I was a member of the Tramp family (go ahead and get your giggles out). Trap is short for Trapuzzano and Tramp is short for Tramposch, which is my maiden name (big name change, I know). My parents sent out a picture card every year, so that's why I do the same. It's nice to see the kids change from year to year and to document any type of trip you went on that year. It's nice because my parents have incorporated Andy, Brady, and now Alex's girlfriend, Lauren, in their yearly cards. My mom has saved a copy of each card we were in since we were born, so she just gave me my stack of cards. My plan is to combine them with the ones I have sent out over the years and make a family Christmas card scrapbook. This is something I will add to year after year and hopefully will be able to pass onto my children and they can see their family line through the years. That will be my main project in Germany since I won't be printing any new pictures while we're there.

1983 (The Tramposchs become a family)

1986 (My 1st Christmas)


1988 (Alex's 1st Christmas)




1992 (Chris's 1st Christmas)

1993 (During this photo shoot my mom accidentally fell down and that led to all of us kids laughing hysterically)

1994 (Virginia Beach)

1995 (San Diego, CA)

1996 (Jones Beach, NY)

1997 (Virginia Beach)

1998 (starting those awkward middle school years)


(My parents couldn't agree on a favorite picture for the card, so they chose a second)

2000 (Disney World)









2009 (Andy joins the family, although he didn't make it into the card)

2010 (Brady's 1st Christmas)

2011 (adding Lauren to the family card; us, Alex, and Lauren at Virginia Beach, Chris in Seattle at the Cal vs. Washington game, and my parents on their Panama Canal cruise)