Monday, November 21, 2011

Elmo, Jenna and Ugly Christmas Outfits

We went to Grand Rapids a couple of weeks ago to celebrate Jenna's second birthday.  Hard to believe that this lil' darlin' is already two. She is such a sweet little lady and she loves Elmo.  I mean, he's lovable too, so no wonder their a good pair.  My whole fam was crashing Dana's house, so we all stayed with Kate and Art.  We had a GREAT time.  Art feeds us amazing food and Kate shares all of her amazing craft stuff with me.  We also shared germs.  Lots and lots of germs.  Me and the kids had sinus infections, so we were sure to snot all over their lovely home.  Thanks for putting up with us guys :)

The Sesame Street pre-show started at 9:30 a.m.  Dana wanted to make sure we would be there on time.  I don't know why she was nervous about me being late :)  For the record, we were ready to go at 9:00 a.m. And then Dana texted and said she didn't think the kids would make it through the pre-show and the real show.  Good call.  But for the record, we were ready.

Elijah and Isla passed time waiting to leave.
We decided to park in an $8 lot.  Problem was neither me nor Kate carries cash (woman after my own heart).  So we counted every last dime in the van and our purses, literally, and made it in time to see the characters heading to the stage.

Kuddos to Dana for bringing her own light up bracelets and neckalaces.
The kids LOVED IT

The lighting was too good to pass up for photos
I love this picture because that is how happy they were
My little lady
A big thanks to my friend Courtney for giving Isla this darling coat.
Man I love having friends with good taste.
I know she looks a little sad in this picture, but I love that pouty face.
And turn that frown upside down.
Its party time!

Cruz rocked his hat...and a flower bib.
At least its better than the princess ones.

The cake was as good as it looks.
Really looking forward to those cake balls Dana.
Isla chose an Oscar the Grouch cupcake.  Interesting selection.
Poor Cruz, he didn't stand a chance in the princess's castle
My mom is really sweet.  She is one of the few people I know who actually celebrates EVERY holiday.  Even Sweetest Day.  She usually tries to buy the kids Christmas clothes for Sweetest Day.  I use the word try because we've had to reject a good batch for reasons which you will see below.  Really sweet mom.  You know I love you.  And some other kid will really love these outfits once they get them from Goodwill.

In all fairness, the girls actually LOVED the outfits.
If you see these outfits at your local resale shop, be sure to send my mom a thank you note.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The First Thanksgiving

I think I've mentioned before that we celebrate Thanksgiving three times.  That's just how much we love food.  We celebrated our first Thanksgiving with the Mitzels at Melanie's house.  Dana had sworn off day trips for nearly an entire year, so she even decided to make a surprise visit.  Everyone was thrilled.  My aunt Linda was bound and determined to get a picture with all of the children together.  She even threatened to wake them up from naps if necessary.  She's intense, I know.

My buddy sported a party cardi
 The kids pictures.  Total framers.
 From left to right
Carson, Timmy, Deven, Delaney, Bella, Julianna
Cruz, Isla, Megan, Brooke and Jenna 
(having a slight meltdown because we woke her from her nap)

 We tried to grab a family pic while we all looked decent
They always turn out so well
 And here's the whole Mitzel fam.
Well, not ALL the Mitzel's - Brian, Steven and Uncle Rick were on their way back from a hunting trip up north, Troy and Jason were in Ohio, and Dave was taking the picture.
They are one sweet family.  And I mean that.  They are the only people I know who consider Jello a side dish instead of a dessert.  Stay tuned for at least two more Thanksgiving celebrations.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Some Fall Favs

I figured I'd better get the pumpkins on here before its Christmas.  Sure, my tree is up, the stockings are hung, but we've still got some work to do.  I'm trying to savor these 60 degree lovely days that we are having lately.  At the beginning of October, we got a "season pass" to our local orchard.  We ended up going several times, so it actually paid off.  I mean, we spent $8 in donuts each time we went, but they were sooooo worth it :)

 Isla was bound and determined to pick her own pumpkin.  The whole time we were there she kept saying "I wanna BIG one mommy!"  So she searched and Cruz helped in the pumpkin patch.
 and sure enough, she found the perfect one.  
Huge isn't it?
 I found this lil' pumpkin roaming the patch.
He ended up putting a whole bunch of stuff in his mouth which resulted in more than usual spit up.
 Living the green
 Dave took these one day while I was at work
 I promise it was warm enough that he didn't require clothing

 And then it was Halloween.  Shortly before Halloween, I took the kids to the doctor.  I was lamenting about my difficulty with potty training and the doc asked me how Isla was with independent play.  I told her that she did really well.  She loves playing by herself especially with play dough.  But she is also good with boundaries, I explained.  I only allow her to play with one color at a time so the colors don't mix together and end up in a brown blob.  After this came out of my mouth, the doc gave me a rather disapproving and perplexed look.  She asked if I let Isla pick out her own clothes, to which I replied, of course not.  The disapproving look intensified.  When I mentioned that I don't let her wear pink or have any princess paraphernalia, she then asked if I let Isla have any choices.  I sometimes let her choose between Mickey and Pajanimals at night, does that count?  The doc said that I may be "stifling her creativity."  I doubt it.  You should see this kid make imaginary dinner, its amazing.  In any event, when it came to her Halloween costume, we had no intention of letting her choose what she wanted to be.  Cruz was going to be an aviator, so, naturally, we wanted Isla to be a retro flight attendant (think Pan Am, not Brittany Spears.)  You can imagine her excitement.  I decided to heed some of the good doctor's counsel and I took Isla to the Halloween store to pick out her own costume.  I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.  I mean, maybe I'll let her choose her costume, but those Halloween stores are freaking scary.  She was freaked out most of the time until we made it to the toddler section.  She debated between the bumble bee and the lady bug for quite some time, but then unequivocally said, "I be a wady bug mommy."  Ok honey, wady bug it is.  And not just any lady bug costume, but one with a scepter and a all lady bugs have I'm sure.
 But I guess she does look pretty cute
 We went trick or treating at The Cottage (Jeff and Elaine's house)
Drake and Logan's costumes were straight from the Taylor Swift concert

 Timmy was Buzz Ligthyear
He couldn't have been happier
 The "wady" bug and aviator
 He stayed back at The Cottage with me.
He's too cute to let out of the house just yet.
 The bag might have been a little big,
 but it definitely held a lot of candy.
Dave was pretty disappointed with Isla's candy.  Why are people so in love with Baby Ruth and Milky Way?  We're still trying to get rid of the stuff, so if you have a sweet tooth, come on over.