Friday, December 31, 2010

2010... you've been good to us

Our last pictures of 2010...

We've had a very calm New Year's Eve this year... an early dinner as a family, home to put Zachary to bed, then my mom and I drove out to see the fireworks at 9 downtown... It's not even 11pm and I think the possibility exists that we will be asleep before midnight... Perfection.  

A happy new year to my amazing family and friends... love you all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

{almost} Famous!!!

This morning we drove up to see Deacon larger than life... and it was SO neat!!!  I know it's silly but I got tears in my eyes seeing it- I'm so proud of him... and he didn't really do anything except go somewhere, have fun and look cute (which really isn't that much hard work when you're my kid, haha).

Pictures aren't that great- but the billboard is literally feet away from the busy highway so I couldn't back up too much... well, I could have, but I was a bit scared of the semi's.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brave boy

I know it seems not so brave... but for the kid who HATES water touching his face and head, this is a pretty big accomplishment!  He was pretty pleased with himself and kept laughing... until, of course, he got water in his mouth and eyes... then he panicked.  But until that point he had a great time!  What a brave baby :)

Chalky Boys

This morning I was the kids were in need of a time-out so we kicked them out of the house and on to the driveway for a bit of chalking.  They could not have looked more white trash (well, ok, if they were in their undies it might have been worse)... but they had fun and it gave us a break.  Best part of picture taking now?- Zac does whatever Deacon is doing.  So if Deacon is trying to ruin the picture by flashing a peace sign or sticking out his tongue, Zac will try and do the same thing.  Lovely.

But hey... at least we got some cool new front yard art out of the deal.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

See you later BeeBa!

So sad... my dad leaves us tomorrow to go back home to Ohio & Milo.  I've not had out my camera too much while he's here- mainly because we've been so busy I just forget to bring it along... but it is part of my new year's resolutions to start being better about picture taking on a daily (yes, daily) basis.

Anyway... I know the kids will be sad to see their BeeBa leave- and so will we.  My dad gets up super early in the morning... which jives well with Deacon who does the same- so with my dad here the rest of us get to sleep in.  Zac has also become entirely attached... the first things he'll say in the morning when I (or my mom) go in to get him-- "Bubby?" (aka- Deacon) "BeeBa?"... you know you've made it in the world when you're second in line to Deacon with little Zachary.

Thanks for the visit, Dad... oh, and thanks also for all the cooking you've done, all the dishes you've washed and (most importantly) all the times you've gotten up at the booty crack of dawn with our first born... LOVE YOU.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Lights... San Francisco style

Tonight we called upon one of our favorite babysitters to watch Zachary so the rest of us could head over to San Francisco to see the city lights.  We got tickets to take a cable car tour of the city- and it was seriously the best tour of the city I've ever taken.  It was SO much fun- and we learned a few new things too!  We had a great time singing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs, shouting MERRY CHRISTMAS (and Happy Hanukah to a few) at every street corner and wearing Santa hats through my favorite city in the entire world.  We were true tourists... which was incredibly slightly embarrassing during the times I thought we may run in to people I could know, LOL.  But seriously- a great time... we did this in place of riding the Polar Express- and I am so thankful we did.  Deacon really loves the Polar Express, but this was SO much cheaper and just as fun (if not more fun due to less crowds!).  We will definitely be going back next year!

(I bet you'll never guess which part Deacon loved the most?... yeah, the part where the driver told him he could ring the trolley bell "as much as he wanted.")

... and my favorite quote of the night- on the way home Deacon yells, "Mommy... I'm so tired- I just want to take my pants off!!!"  This was, of course, after he says to me... "mommy... I just don't want to sleep with any clothes on tonight, ok?"  HAHA!!!  Poor guy was so exhausted he was somewhat delirious by the time we were half way home.

One more present... a couple months too soon

My parents got Zac a mini-ATV for Christmas... and while he thought it was pretty neat, he couldn't quite figure out how to use it properly (beyond just sitting there screaming at us to push the pedal for him).  Thankfully it's a little too uncomfortably small for Deacon to use- so there won't be any many fights over who gets to play with it... once we bring it back out in a couple months.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The one day when Deacon actually sleeps past "Six Three Zero" is the one day that Zachary wakes up at 6:20.  Ugh.  Oh well... Deacon finally woke up at 7 and we made our way downstairs to see what Santa had left for us.  Deacon was SO excited- and Zachary was even getting into it too.  Deacon went through all his gifts in a matter of 10-15 minutes... and it took Zac about 2 hours to get through them all, LOL.  Zac just kept wanting to open the gifts and play with them- and he LOVED everything he opened.

We've had a really nice and relaxing day, as usual!

Deacon's favorite gifts: Nintendo DSi XL, Atlantis & Toy Story 3 Legos and his new booster seats (yes, the boy has been BEGGING us to not have to use a "real" carseat anymore... so Grandma and Grandpa got him a booster)

Zachary's favorite gifts: Trampoline, art supplies, huge monkey and Duplo set from Grammy and Grumpy

Christmas Eve

I LOOOOOOOVE Christmas Eve!!!  Everyone got their Christmas pajamas right before we went on our ride to see the lights in the Fab 40's... Damien was such a good sport with the pajamas I picked out for him :)  The Fab 40's did not disappoint- their lights are gorgeous and classic... Deacon was in awe the entire time- and it kept Zac's attention for about 20 minutes (which is a pretty big accomplishment).  When we got home the presents from Grammy, Grumpy & Uncle Derek had "magically" appeared under our tree!  Deacon and Zac were pretty excited about their new toys... Deacon got a construction set and Zac got a fire station Duplo set from Grammy & Grumpy.  Uncle Derek got the boys some neat art supplies, which they begged to play with... but being so late, I said no.  But I did let them put together their gifts from Grammy & Grumpy, which made them quite happy.

The kids went to bed and we all got to work wrapping and putting the gifts under the tree... as well as sweeping up the oatmeal we left outside for the reindeer and eating the cookies we left for Santa.  An absolutely perfect night!  I cannot wait until the morning- I think I might be just as excited as the kids!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dovewood Court

Today was fantastic!  My dad got in this morning right before naptime- and the kids were really excited to see "BeeBa" (as Zac calls him) before they took their naps.  Dad was supposed to get in late last night, but due to plane issues, he had to spend the night in Denver.  Yuck!  But he's here now and we're thrilled!  After a relaxing day we loaded the kids in the car and drove out to Orangevale to walk through Dovewood Court (a cul de sac of about 15 houses that put on this amazing Christmas lights display)... my absolute favorite holiday tradition.  They do such a great job with these lights... and tonight was PERFECT for our outing.  It wasn't raining and the weather was so mild.  The kids and adults all had a blast!-- oh, and we totally made Zac wear his nifty kitty outfit... and he got at least FOUR *compliments*!!! HA!

Oh, one more thing... Dovewood Court is, by far, my favorite holiday tradition.  But today, something majorly turned me off at one of the houses.  There was this big sign that said "Happy Holidays" inside a big circle with a slash over the statement... and underneath it said, "Merry Christmas!"  I am all about people saying what they want to say... I really dislike this whole "war on Christmas."  If someone says Merry Christmas- fantastic!  Who am I to stop you?  But if I want to say Happy Holidays to be inclusive of all those who are celebrating this season, why is that a bad thing?  Why did this person feel inclined to put this sign in the front yard?  I just wish we could all just drop the whole negativity and be thrilled to be blessed with so many holidays and options to celebrate family, friends and a higher power.  (ok, sorry... off my soap box!)

 Zachary was SO annoyed we were asking him to stop looking at lights and pose for a picture!  But it's a really sweet picture of daddy & Deacon!

 He LOVED the Thomas the Train & Mickey Mouse light display in this garage!  We probably could have stayed there the entire night.

 Again, Zachary is completely uninterested in looking at the camera... and I forgot to turn on the flash.  But if you look closely, it's a really good picture!

This was Deacon's favorite display... mainly because you could press a button and make this obnoxious bell ring- it was so insanely loud... all the boys were pressing the button non-stop.  I'm not quite sure why the owners haven't destroyed that stupid thing quite yet!  HA!

Tomorrow we're heading to the Fab Fourties to look at lights... I love Christmas lights and I hope that my kids love it as much (or at least almost as much) as I do- because we're not going to quit this holiday tradition anytime soon!!!  When we get back from lights tomorrow night, presents from Grammy & Grumpy and Uncle Derek will have "magically" appeared under our tree... I am SO excited for them to have their first gifts to open.  I love getting all this shopping and stuff done early... but it's SO hard to keep all the gifts a secret for so long!!!

Hope you are all enjoying the holidays as much as we are!  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

I love that on most years I get to spend the day with my mom on her birthday... I miss out on a lot of holidays and gatherings being out here- but this is one I typically get to celebrate on the actual day, in person.

We started the day at Tower Cafe, went shopping (and found a new and amazing store- Lakeshore teacher bookstore... SO fun!!!) and then came back home for some down time... this evening Dawn, Cory & family came over for Gingerbread house making, dinner and cake.  The original plan was to make this lovely gingerbread house yesterday at Dawn's, but the boys never got around to doing it... and when it came time to leaving yesterday both Deacon and Aiden were pretty disappointed that they hadn't made the house.  So today seemed like a good alternative... plus, cake {and ice cream for Cory} was involved- who can pass that one up?  The kids, as always, had a great time... but the funniest part was how Zac reacted to having house guests... he was going cuh-razy and having a blast showing off for his friends.  Deacon and Aiden essentially disappeared into Deacon's room, as evident by the explosion of Lego's we found... and all the while the adults got to sick back, relax and enjoy each others' company... sort of ;-)

So happy birthday to my bestest mom in the world... thank you for choosing to spend your birthday {and many other days} with me and my boys.  You are truly loved and appreciated- it's not every day that Deacon offers one of his "spend" dollars up so freely.  Thank you, also, for helping me prepare the meal, supervise me making the frosting and cleaning helping clean my house...

We love you {more than anything}!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our annual gathering...

This year was a little smaller than most... we definitely missed you Kim & Theresa!!!  But you would never guess this gathering was "small" compared to most years... especially with how loud the house was with these kids running around!  The kids had a blast and the parents did too- especially now that most of the kiddies are old enough that we don't need to keep them in our eye sight 100% of the time!  Instead of keeping my camera glued to my face the whole time, I opted to enjoy the company and eat a TON... which I definitely do not regret.

Our favorite thing to do...

We must watch this you tube video at least 10 times a day... at least.  Zac LOVES it... and so do we- though I don't think we share the same passion toward the video as he does.  Nonetheless, you can safely assume we are watching this video first thing in the morning, before naptime and then after bedtime... and each time we sit down to watch it we go through the video at least 2-3 times.

And if you're interested in watching our favorite video:

Baby it's cold outside...

But not too cold that we can't enjoy the rain... which Zachary LOVES!!!  And doesn't he look way too cute???  He's stylish, we know.  

Decorating Christmas Cookies

The best part about the holidays (besides the time off with family & friends) is the BAKING!!!  YUM!

My mom is here {again}!!!

And doesn't she look excited to be here??? 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Card 2010

It's important to mention that DAMIEN made the outfits both the boys are wearing

Monday, December 13, 2010

A weekend filled with birthday parties... and sulking

So... for Christmas my parents bought me a plane ticket to fly home this weekend.  My best friend is making his theatrical playwright debut and from the moment I heard this debut was happening I knew I wouldn't miss it for the world... but what I wasn't banking on was a blizzard.  See, this is why I hate snow and really don't ever want to live anywhere near the horrid stuff.  I am still really sad about missing the show, but each day I feel a little better.

I think Damien was secretly doing the happy dance when he learned I was staying... yes, he was sad for me, but this weekend and subsequent week days are set to be REALLY busy for Deacon- so having me home was a huge blessing to him... so instead of a quiet weekend sitting by the fire with my dog and parents, I spent the weekend keeping up with Deacon's social calendar- which involved two gymnastic birthday parties.  Yippee!  Thankfully I love the parents of Deacon's friends- so it wasn't too bad hanging out at said parties ;-)

(oh, and of course my camera died the minute after I took this one random picture)

We've got a sick baby... who loves to play peek-a-boo

Poor little boy is so sick... he's got a horrible cough and is really congested.  He's been pretty miserable the past few days... though, despite being sick, the boy is still able to get in a few games of peek-a-boo (his current favorite).

At least the other two boys are healthy {for now... knock on wood}

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Homemade Holiday Gifts!

The past few years I've done a lot of homemade gifts... growing up that's pretty much all I saw my mom doing for her friends and other family members.  She rarely ever gave an actual store bought gift to anyone but me and my dad.  I started the same tradition two years ago when I spent hours making homemade cookie baskets for everyone.  Those cookies were AMAZING.  Last year I scaled back a bit and just did homemade buckeyes... which are still great gifts- just not as elaborate as the year before.  This year I took a new approach and went with the ever popular "in a jar" gifts.  I found some really great recipes and I'm so excited about these gifts!  They're perfect because the receiver doesn't have to use the gift immediately, it takes up very little space and once made, it's delicious!  

Pictured below are the two I recently gave away... one is a coffee mixture (which I lovingly call, "Amanda's amazing mocha"- since I tweaked the heck out of a few recipes I found...) and the other is a mix for gingerbread cookies.  I've also made jars for bean soup and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  I just found another "in a jar" recipe that I'm super excited to try tonight as well- Simple S'mores Bars by Paula Deen (my culinary hero).  

Happy Feast Day of St. Nicholas!

His modeling career is taking off!

Here's our billboard boy!!!