Happy Birthday Mommy!

Today we celebrate Jessica’s birthday! Unfortunately she has to work lunch but will be home around 6:00pm. Once she gets home the three of us are heading over to Evan and Natasha’s place for a BBQ by the pool. We might be swimming or getting in the hot tub depending on how many people are there and how warm it still is. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day today; it’s absolutely perfect out. We started off the morning by opening her presents from Ava and I – mainly a pair of tickets to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers this September. She had mentioned wanting tickets a few times but I don’t think she expected me to get them. It’s at the Sports Arena, where we saw Eric Clapton last year. We’ve got nice floor seats that are very similar to where we sat last time. We also got her the new album by the Chili Peppers so she can get to know it before the show.

After presents we took the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. Ava seemed to enjoy the ride in her stroller and stayed awake the whole time. Once we got back I ran to Costco to grab a few things while Jessica got ready for work. I always talk about how every time I go to Costco I end up buying something that I hadn’t planned on. Last time it was an avocado tree, and this time it was a tv for our bedroom. I got a 32″ Vizio HDTV for $275. I can’t believe how cheap they are now! It’s not a big tv but it’s perfect for the bedroom. Once I got home I made an Italian sausage and baby portabella scramble with roasted fingerling potatoes for the two of us. As always I made too much so the dogs got a nice treat for Mom’s birthday.

Tomorrow morning we’re going to a live bluegrass brunch at a little place in North Park. We’ve never been before but have heard good things. Should be a fun way to spend the morning. Not sure what the plan is for the rest of the day but I’m sure it will be fun and relaxing. I also have the exciting news (at least for me) that I joined a new martial arts school yesterday – the Gracie academy in La Jolla. I first saw it on Wednesday when walking to the office. As it turns out the place is only about 4 blocks from my office and they teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the Gracie way. The Gracie family invented Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the 1920’s and have honed it into the single most effective form of self defense in the world. My friend Jaime at work decided to come with me yesterday for a free ten day trial and we had our first lesson. Both of us loved it and plan on signing up as soon as the trial ends. The people at the school are really great and I’m excited to have the opportunity to study there. I’m already very busy in my day to day life but I think this will be nothing but good for me in many ways. To see more about the school, visit: www.graciejiu-jitsulajolla.com

Ava 5 months old today

Today our baby girl turns five months old! She’s growing faster than ever and developing her personality. She loves to smile for anyone, can hold her own bottle at times, can pick things up, and occasionally roll over. We expect her to be crawling and getting her first tooth in the next couple months. We have a big weekend coming up as we get to celebrate Jessica’s birthday. We’re going to a barbecue Saturday evening at our friend’s Evan and Natasha’s place, then getting up Sunday morning to go to a live bluegrass brunch. Not sure what else is on the docket for Sunday but I’m sure it will be a fun day. Here’s a few recent pics.

Ava at 5 months old

Band of Skulls Concert

The night before last, Jessica and I went to see a show by a fairly new English band called Band of Skulls. We’ve been listening to their first album in the car for several months now and were excited to see that they were coming to San Diego on their tour. They played at a place called The Griffin, which turned out to be a cool small venue that we hope to go back to. This was our first concert since seeing Eric Clapton last February, so we were overdue. Going out these days requires a little more planning than it used to, but luckily we were able to get our friends Evan and Natasha to babysit. This was our first time leaving Ava with someone not named Grandma, but it went really well and they said they would be happy to do it again. It looks like they will be sitting for us on May 5th when we go see Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager downtown at Spreckles theater.

Tomorrow my mom will be making her second visit in the last two weeks. She and Denny are driving out here in the company truck with a king sized bed, jogging stroller, book case, rocking chair, and various other things that wouldn’t fit in the car. They will be bringing our queen sized bed back with them the following day. It’s a good swap because it gives her more room in the guest bedroom and we get a huge comfy bed. Very excited about this. Unfortunately they’re only staying one night but it’s always good to see each other. Then next Saturday we’ve got Jessica’s birthday to celebrate. Unfortunately she has to work that day but we’ll still make it fun. If only we didn’t have all this work in between!

New Portfolio Website

I recently designed and developed a new portfolio website as part of a class project. I already had a decent one that I could have used for the class requirements but I decided to do something new, and better. I’ve been meaning to launch it for a couple weeks now but have been busy with more important stuff. It may still need a few modifications but overall I’m very happy with it, and it got me a 4.0 for the class. You can check it out at: www.PellegriniPage.com/Portfolio or click on the screenshot image below.

We decided to enjoy our new house a bit this week by having our first dinner party on Thursday night. Our good friends Shawn and Rich came over, along with my buddy Jaime from work. It was originally supposed to be dinner with my friend Evan from work and his girlfriend Natasha, who is babysitting for us on Wednesday night when we go to see Band of Skulls. Unfortunately they couldn’t make it but we still had a great time. Jessica had the house looking amazing so I did my best to come through on the food.

The menu:

  • Appetizer: Jumbo Prawn Cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce
  • Salad: New York Steak Salad with spinach & arugula, goat cheese, pine nuts and a horseradish vinaigrette
  • Entree: Jumbo Prawn Scampi with angel hair pasta, capers, garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, and diced tomatoes in a white wine butter sauce
  • Desert: Shawn’s homemade tiramisu

Everything turned out perfect and we had a really fun night. Unfortunately Ava wasn’t having as much fun as Mom and Dad were and did quite a bit of crying. We had to take turns holding her and getting her to settle down. I think she was a little overwhelmed with all the people in the house, but she still had fun in between her fits. That was the night that she first put her pacifier in her mouth without assistance. She ended up doing it about half a dozen times and it turned into a fun little game with everyone cheering her on. It’s so nice to have a proper home for entertaining. This is the best house Jessica and I have lived in and we can’t wait to have more friends and family over for dinner.

In baby news, Ava is growing and developing so much these days; it’s absolutely amazing! In addition to the pacifier, Ava rolled over for the fist time this week. These sound like simple things, and they are, but watching her do them for the first time is unforgettable. She’s literally growing up right before our eyes and it’s hard to believe. Part of me wishes she could stay little like this forever but watching her grow is an incredible treat. Enjoy the latest photos.

New portfolio website for Michael Pellegrini
Click on the screenshot to visit my new portfolio website

Ava and Mommy before our dinner party
Ava and Mommy before our dinner party

Big smiles for Nana
Big smiles for Nana

Wearing Dad's cap
Wearing Dad’s cap

Hanging out with Dad
"Hanging" out with Dad

Always sporting a cute new expression
Always sporting a cute new expression

Thank you Nana

My mom made it out with the Honda on Friday evening and was able to spend all day Saturday with Ava and I. Unfortunately Jessica had to work a double on Saturday and Sunday, so she didn’t get to visit much with her, but it was great having her out for a quick visit. The car she brought us is running great and we’re so appreciative of it. There’s no question that it will last us throughout my time at school and beyond. We didn’t do anything for Easter this year but it was nice for me to have a relaxing day at home with Ava. We did some house chores, washed the Durango, and watched the final round of the Master’s. My new quarter at school also began yesterday and it looks like things are going to start getting a little harder. I’m taking Discrete Mathematics and Introduction to Programming Logic for the first half of the quarter, then Introduction to Computer Security and Programming 1 in the second half. The programming class is all review but it’s a topic I love so it should be fun. I haven’t taken a math class in about a decade so it will be challenging, but it should be interesting because this type of math directly relates to computer science. All else is going great, just staying super busy. Thanks again to my mom, our new Nana, for all she does.

Our second anniversary

Today we celebrate our second anniversary! It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two years until you think about all that’s happened since then. A year ago today Jessica gave me the news that she was pregnant, which was the greatest news/first anniversary present I ever could have hoped for. Today isn’t quite as exciting but has already been a nice day. I went into the office this morning for a couple hours and then surprised Jessica by coming home and doing the rest of my work with her and Ava at the house. It’s the nicest day of the year so we had a nice outdoor lunch on our back patio. I’m finishing up early so we can relax and hang out for the rest of the evening. We’re going to Costco later and will be getting some nice seafood for dinner tonight. Not going out to a fancy dinner tonight but having a great day/night at home with my girls.