Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spoiler Alert: Chritmas Card Pictures

We didn't take our annual family picture yet, but we'll get to when Michael's home for Christmas. My friend Amy, Landrie's mom, started taking pictures professionally so I asked her to take some of Maxwell and Ella. I love these pictures so much. If you know us in real life and you're getting a Christmas card, close your eyes. But really, these are very special to me. Especially because she told me she'd take some of me with them. I think I sound vain if I ask to have my picture taken, but I remember how much I love seeing my Mom in photos with us. So these I love these. Thank you Amy.

(looks like she changed her mind about that kiss : )

It's a stretch, but every time I look at this picture I think of John Cusack from Say Anything.

Lloyd Dobler? Anyone? this.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Fun Message From Santa

Have you seen these messages you can create for your kids? Too cute! Takes just a second and the kids couldn't believe Santa knew their names :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap: Awesome!

We spent Thanksgiving in Tahoe with friends and it was AWESOME (do I sound like an 80's movie? when I really want to stress how great something is, I always go back to 'awesome,'...because it was). Michael didn't end up coming :(, but other than that, it was a great trip. Here's a blurry picture of the house we rented. It was huge. And beautiful.

The kids were enthralled with the Foosball table. Mike was the Foos champion of the weekend.

Night #1: Some serious card games went down. These boys are Tallon and Noah: the sweetest, most fun and patient boys our kids could have asked for. They humored our kids with pillow fights over, and over, and over.

Day Two: Casino adventure. The kids played and I took at brief visit upstairs to the $.01 slots. $5.00 kept me entertained for 20 min. Then I was over it. (Blano, do you remember our trip to the casino? I think I won $75 and I thought I had won the moon! That was such a fun visit).

Thanksgiving Day: I kid you not, Mike made Thanksgiving dinner for all of us. I posed for a picture and peeled maybe three potatoes, but Mike made us the MOST AMAZING prime rib dinner. It was so, so good.

Fireplace posed pictures.

My girl and I.

Now the Barrett's turn.

Feeding our faces. Before we ate we went around and did the traditional 'This year I'm thankful for...'. Without missing a beat, Maxwell said he was thankful for, "Toy Story1, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3."
Ella looked at me and said, "Me thank my Mommy." Cue Mommy's teared up eyes.

Black Friday: South Lake Tahoe does not have much in the way of get up really early and you'll get a huge TV for cheap. But we did find a Pier 1. And a Kmart. But they didn't have much. We ended up ditching a girl's spa day to drive 25 min. to Carson City in search of great deals. And the funny thing is, I ended up buying things at Costco and The Dollar Tree that I could have bought any day of the year. But being with Maeg and going out on 'Black Friday' made it way better than shopping at these stores at home.

The lake was a two minute walk from our 'home.' So pretty.

Maeg and Zack. We obviously love her. But we like him too. A lot. (If you press zoom, you can see his blond mustache that I made fun of all weekend. Oh, No Shave November, you are killing me).

Five of my favorite people.

The trip was great. The only thing missing was Michael (that, and there was no snow). But this makes me extra excited for Christmas. As I'm typing this Maxwell and Ella are watching a Christmas movie and we have glowing candy canes lighting up our lawn. Every year since I've had the kids, I've said everything just keeps getting better. And this year, it's even better. Hearing Ella talk about the North Pole and Maxwell talk about how he has to go to sleep because Santa is going to come makes me glow from the inside out. Having two, at two and a half is awesome! (see..the word just fits).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pizza With Nonni

People tell me I remind them of my Mother. Our looks, mannerisms, voices- all of these things seem to have been carried on through yours truly. But cooking? Not so much. My Mom is an amazing cook. My Grandmother is an amazing cook. I keep meaning to hop on board. The kids and I took the short hour drive to my parents house and spent last night with them. Between my Mom, Dad, and brother Spencer, the kids were the center of the world universe. My Moms family, the Blanchards, are known for their yummy pizza. Like the wonderful Grandmother she is, 'Nonni' gave Maxwell and Ella their first cooking lesson. It was a hit.

With the kids on their way to bed with full bellies, I escaped to one of my besties house for a couple hours. My friend Crystal lives only a couple blocks from my parents house and it's always a treat to visit her. If you were peeping through her window, I'd be the one in sweat pants with a cold drink sprawled out on her couch. Her husband Andy cooks us dinner and we get to talk talk talk and play with their adorable daughter Lily. I love my time with them.

(Crystal, if you're reading this you are such an awesome Mom! I love watching you with Lil and I'm in awe of your patience and love for her. Of course, you do have the sweetest, easiest child in the world. But still).

Friday, November 11, 2011


The kids are feeling better but they still have yucky coughs. We're supposed to have rain for the next couple of days so we got to the park this morning to play before we are stuck inside. The leaves were beautiful. The kids gathered them like they were treasures. They each made their own pile and threw them up in the air (and at each other) before we left.

AND, I got the best phone call this morning. We are renting a house in Tahoe for Thanksgiving with our good friends The Barretts, and Michael called to say that he and little Maeg ARE COMING WITH US!!! We had hoped they'd be able to come and they both got off work :) :) :) It's rare to have all four kids home together. I can't remember the last time, if ever, that we've been away, all six of us. We are so happy they're coming! When I got his call I hung up and smiled, I had a total Mom moment.  Just knowing that our family will be together, all of us, is making me smile ear to ear. It's going to be a special trip.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome Home

You get home tonight and we can't wait. We missed you this week. A lot.

p.s. remember this fun night. what? you think we should do a date night this weekend? hint, hint, wink, wink. OK.


Monday, November 7, 2011


We've been house bound with little sickies. Maxwell and Ella have had strep throat but I can tell they're getting better, Maxwell is running around chasing Ella with a flashlight and she's screaming "Save me Mommy!" I'm tempted to use this post to vent about cleaning up vomit, having to wash their 'blankies' at 2:00 a.m., and never ending sleepless nights- but that's just the deal when you've got sick kids. Instead, here are some of the things that have been making me smile. Oh, the things they say.

Maxwell: Whenever he's been naughty to Ella I know it before she even has a chance to cry. I hear him across the house tell her, "It's OK Ella! It's OK! I'm your best friend!"

Ella: If she's not crying hard because she's hurt, she'll reply, "Behave little boy!" Which is hilarious to me. I rarely say 'behave' and I always call him 'big boy.' She came up with this one on her own.

Maxwell: "Knock it off!" This isn't necessarily cute, but they both have been telling everyone to knock it off when they don't like what's going on. This one they did learn from me. Oops.

Ella: "OK Captain Mommy!" Ever since Halloween they have both, especially Ella, been calling me Captain Mommy. What? I have no idea. There was never any mention from me that I was going to be Captain anything. They are into Peter Pan...really? I'm trying to to be offended by the comparison to Hook.

Whenever I ask an open question to both of them, like, "Who's hungry?" or "Who did this?" Maxwell always replies, "Not me! Not Ella!"

The sayings go on and on but let me think, what else has been going on? One of my best friend's, Molly, came to visit me with her two little ones! We has such a great time and I can't wait to do it again soon. We're four hours apart, but we need to get together more. I love, love, love her. And the kids all had so much fun playing together. Both Maxwell and Ella were totally infatuated with her 8 month old (I think he's 8 months?) baby Ben. Ella was 100% concerned with what he was doing at all times. She is still asking for him. And Maxwell has told me a couple times that 'BB' (Vivi) can ride his motorcycle.

My keyboard hasn't been working so I haven't liked the computer. At all. It's better now.

Mike is working out of town Monday-Thursday so we get a little lonely during the weeks. What I mean to say is I miss my husband and I get a little crazy from the lack of interaction with friends.

Michael is now a TV star and he makes me smile. And hold my breath because I get nervous to watch. And then smile again because, it's just him being him.

No matter how many times I pick up my house, it's dirty and I miss the days when we both worked and I spent money on unimportant but such gratifying things like designer jeans and a house cleaner.

I guess that's it. The kids are quiet which probably means something bad is happening. The past two days during the quiet spells I've found a roll of stamps used as stickers/sharpie on the hands and arms/Burt's Bees shampoo dumped on the carpet/a glow stick broken and gone everywhere (even the eyes, ouch!)/water bottles dumped on the carpet/my pictures from college scattered around my closet floor...I'll just stop here and go check on them.

Before they got bad and we thought they were just feeling crummy, we played outside during a break from the rain. Mike tuned up their motorcycles.

Bigs flashed me one of his million dollar smiles.

Ella asked for it to rain so she could catch rain in her bucket.

Her quote: "Oh rain! Where are you?!"

Smile gone. Ready to go inside.

If you're still reading, you've made it to the end. This is what happens when I don't blog for awhile.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

There's A Snake In My Boot!

Somebody poisoned the water hole! You're my favorite deputy! That's right, this Mom can quote Toy Story for days because my kids are obsessed. This Halloween Grandma Judie made them Woody and Jesse costumes. She did such a great job! They were so proud to be their favorite cowboys. It was adorable to watch them run from house to house trick or treating. They yelled back and forth, "Hurry up!" or "Wait for me!" It was a good night :)

Thank you Grandma for their perfect costumes! I'm writing this at 9:30 a.m., and they are watching Toy Story and Maxwell is wearing his Woody costume.