Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The one with a million backstories

I have a bit of a catch-up post today.  I usually try to keep these brief with mostly pictures, but today's post will have 1 million backstories and will take you approximately 4 hours to read.  Get something to drink. Get cozy.  Here we go.
We got a big storm last week.  It rained all day Friday and rained off and on all day Saturday.  It was also coooooooold.
The scarecrow couldn't even stay upright in the water logged dirt. 
He fell over and looked pathetic.
Elliott was just delighted with all of the rain.  He's experienced rain probably 5-8 times in his life (including the rain that fell on his face the day we brought him home from the hospital), so he wasn't sure what to do with it.

Even though it was really, really cold I let him run out to the slide (barefoot) and go down it a few times.  He was in the rain for about 1 minute before I brought him in and put him in warm, dry clothes.

 *Note: backstory coming*
We decided to break protocol this year and decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is so late this year that we felt like waiting until after really didn't give us enough time to enjoy everything for long enough to make the effort worthwile.
Elliott and I took all of the fall and Thanksgiving decorations down on Friday morning. 
I made the beagle pose with the other beagle.  One of them was not too pleased.
Once Elliott went down for a nap I brought all of the Christmas containers in from the garage and unpacked them.
Ginger photobombed my picture.
I also rearranged the furniture to make room for the tree.
(Five to twelve backstories in one are coming up.  This is the 4 hour part of the post.)
I had plans with my friends on Friday night.  The plan was for all of us to bring appetizers to Lauren's house and have a tasting party.  After we picked up Spencer from school I let the kids watch a Curious George DVD while I put up some of the Christmas decorations.  I planned on doing decorations then taking a shower/getting ready then taking the kids to pick up a pizza and then leaving for Lauren's as soon as Michael got home from work. 
Elliott watched George for about 10 minutes and then "helped" me as I walked around putting stuff up.  Then Spencer called out from the living room that the movie broke.  I went back in there and the TV was all snowy.  The DVD player was off.  I couldn't turn it back on.  I told him I didn't know what was wrong but that daddy would look at it when he got home.  Then we all left the room.  A few minutes later I walked back in and smelled something weird, like burning plastic.  I looked at the DVD player and small blue flames were coming out of it.  Doing what any normal, sane person would do, I called Michael at work and asked him what to do.  I considered calling 911 but the flames only lasted about 10 seconds and then they turned into smoke.  He, obviously, told me to get it unplugged, so I heaved some very large furniture aside, unplugged it and took it outside. 
Because of all of the DVD hubbub, I ended up running late.  Elliott really wanted to come in the shower with me and most of the time it's easier to just let him than to deal with him opening and closing the shower door while I am in there.
After we were out of the shower I put him in a diaper and Spencer's old robe because that was faster than getting him dressed.  Usually just a diaper would be fine, but remember, it's cold all of a sudden.
Backstory:  We got this robe for Spencer in November, 2008 when he was 14 months old.  A baby robe is just about the most ridiculous thing you can buy a baby and he wore it about 10 times in his whole life, but it is reaaaallllly cute.  

He hated it at first, but I was wearing my robe and made a big deal about him being in his robe and then he loved it.
Here's Spencer during his first time in the robe. 

And a side-by-side robe comparison. 
Michael got home from work and I walked about the door about 4 seconds later.  I picked up Maryellen and we drove in the rain to Lauren's.
The tasting party was awesome.  We pretty much ate all of this food.

My little plate.  The first of about 6.
Once we were done with the tasting part we moved on to the couch and chatting part.  I was happy as a clam.
Maryellen and I stayed really late and I ended up not going to bed until after 1:00 am that night.  We also almost drove into a police barricade, but that is a story for another day.
On Saturday I took Elliott with me to the mall to meet a new friend for coffee.  For those of you that pay attention to my blog roll, she is Shannon from Wylder Nation.  Wylder is a precious little boy who died from Niemann Pick Type A last year and Shannon is his mama.  Shannon and her husband have been doing a lot of work with rare diseases and a place called TGen (Translational Genomics Research Institute).  I have been thinking about making an appointment to have Elliott seen at TGen if his liver biopsy still fails to answer any questions about what it happening with him.
(That was a backstory, BTW)
So anyway, Shannon and I had been exchanging emails for a while and we met for coffee at a mall in Scottsdale.  While we were gone, Michael and Spencer put up the Christmas tree. 
After we got home we decided, for the first time in his life, to intentionally let Elliott skip his nap.  Instead of napping, we took both kids to another mall.  We wanted to buy a cheap blue-ray player to replace the burnt out DVD player.  The problem is that we have an old (non-flat screen) TV in the living room and it doesn't have the correct plugs for a blue ray.  Then we decided we would just get a cheap DVD player.  The problem is that new DVD players don't have the correct plugs to attach to our TV.  The people at Sears suggested we just upgrade to a $1,000 flat screen TV.  Thanks Sears people.  That's helpful advice.  They then suggested we go to Radio Shack to buy a converter to make a new DVD player work.
Before we left the mall we let Elliott go on the carousel for the first time.  He didn't love it. 

Until the 2nd time around when he went on the train.
We then went to Radio Shack where they also recommended we buy a new TV.  We asked about the converter, but they informed us it costs $80.  Then they mentioned that they had an old (but still brand new) DVD model for $35.  It would work with our TV.  So, we bought that and headed home.  BTW, in case you were wondering what all the fuss is about, I have to have a DVD player or blue ray in the living room, because that is where I do my work out DVDs.
After dinner we hooked up the new DVD player and let the kids watch a Christmas movie.  Then they went to bed and Michael and I worked until 2:00 am (yeah, that's right) putting up all the Christmas stuff.
On Sunday morning I got up, got ready and hit the road.  I was headed to Tucson because (big, huge backstory coming up here) my brother and sister-in-law are having a baby and my mom was hosting a shower for Kendra!
I haven't mentioned anything yet, because I didn't have permission from the mommy and daddy to be.  But now I do!
They are due in May and are having a little girl.  Her name is Isabella Grace.  I'm going to be an aunt!
We realize that a November shower for a May baby is incredibly early, but they live in Florida and won't be here again before the baby is born so we bent the rules.
This was part of the invitation, 
And this was the cake.  How amazing is that?
My mom (left) and Kendra's mom, otherwise known as the grandmas. 
Larissa (who co-hosted with my mom), Kendra and Emily.
I gave Kendra an adorable set of U of A onesies and the nosefrida snot sucker.  Nathan almost threw up when I showed him how you use the nosefrida.
I was a total failure and didn't get my picture with Kendra.  This is the best I can do for you.
I stayed in Tucson pretty much all day.  I got home after dinner, right before bedtime.  It was pretty awesome actually.
Monday was another cold day and Elliott thought Ginger was suffering, because it's not like she's covered in fur or anything.
And with that, I will release you from your reading.  Go relax your eyes and bake a pie.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Roar and Oink!

I picked a theme for Elliott's 2nd birthday party in about February.  There was a dinosaur birthday shirt on sale at Gymboree in a 2T.  I decided right there in the store that I would buy the shirt and we would have a dinosaur party.  I was just barely recovered from throwing his snowman 1st birthday party.
I bought some stuff for the dinosaur party in August when I was shopping for Spencer's golden birthday party.  Then I kind of forgot about it while we went about life.  Until last week, when I realized we were a month away from when I was planning on having the party.
Time to get cracking!
We took an uber-cute picture and made and sent inviations. 
I came up with a menu, printed recipes for when I shop and took a survey of supplies.  We always have left over plates, napkins, plastic silverware, etc. after parties and I always hoard it away for future use, so we're actually in really good shape.  There is very little left to buy.  Just all of the food, which can't be done in advance, some dinosaur paper for menu cards and clear plastic cups.
Yesterday I looked at a bunch of cake ideas on pinterest.  
I'm totally going to do something like this:
I love the idea of t-rex standing on a mountain of chocolate.
We also went to the candy store and bought 1.5 pounds of candy rocks- both jelly and chocolate.  They are hiding in Elliott's closet so that a certain 6 year old and another certain 36 year old don't eat them.
I also saw these on pinterest and am in love with this idea.  This is why we need clear, plastic cups.
We already had some cheap plastic dinosaurs, but I wanted to look for a few more for decorating the buffet table, the dessert table and the cake.  I also wanted to get tiny ones for the pudding cups and for goodie bags.
The kids and I went to Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree and Walmart after school yesterday.  We found 2 really nice dinosaurs at Hobby Lobby.  I made Spencer pay for one of them separately so we could use the 40% off coupon for both of them.
We also found some "less nice" ones at Dollar Tree and Walmart.  They were all $1.  I also ordered a bag of 96 tiny dinos from Oriental Trading Co.
We're totally set on dinosaurs for the party!
We already had the yellow bronto, the blue T-Rex, the red stegosaurus and the green crocodile looking dino on the right.  The rest are new.

The baby T-Rex is from Hobby Lobby.  This is the one that Spencer "bought" using my money.
This frightening guy was also at Hobby Lobby.
As was this precious little oinker.
I mean, how could I say no?
He fits perfectly into our kitchen decor and he was 50% off too.
He may not be from the Jurassic period, but he was certainly needed for a successful party. 

Monday, November 18, 2013


I was looking for a picture of this infant seat today (for totally unimportant reasons that would take too long to explain).  I knew we had some with a very tiny and brand new Elliott.
He was 3 days old in the first one and 4 days old in the second one.
These pictures make me want to simultaneously build a time machine so I can go back and squeeze him and vomit at the idea of ever having to care for another newborn. 

It has been a while since I took pictures of my sleeping kids.  I took care of that on Friday night.
Spencer was rocking the underoos.  I added a privacy bubble for his sake.

Elliott has been showing some signs that he has outgrown his highchair.  Sign #1 being, he doesn't want to sit in it anymore.  Spencer refused his highchair past 18 months, so Elliott lasted a lot longer.  We got the ol' high chair (2 words) out of the attic on Saturday.  He enjoyed a snack in it that afternoon and hasn't looked back.
I love that I have a brunette and a blonde.  For one second I entertain thoughts of having a third boy who is a redhead and then I remember that I get sick to my stomach when I think about caring for a newborn.  Oh, and that we took surgical measures to prevent a third.  There is THAT little detail.
Dressing them in the same outfit still hasn't lost its appeal.
Elliott showing his left handedness.
I left him outside so I could go to the bathroom.  When I returned he was sitting in my chair reading Entertainment Weekly.  I'm surprised he wasn't drinking my iced coffee.

Ginger is a weirdo.