Dec 31, 2014

Adios 2014!

You were a good year and I trust you'll successfully pass the baton to 2015.

Dec 29, 2014

Cade Train

The train set my parents gave Cade for Christmas has "cars" that spell his name! The Cade train!

Cade train


Dec 27, 2014

Christmas Eve!

Wowzas - we've been so busy with the holidays I haven't even shared anything from our big Christmas Eve!

Let me hit the highlights for you.

We woke up and did stockings "just us." They mostly contained the typical loot - socks, shaving cream, floss, gum. Cade's had an art theme so he got watercolors, a painting smock, and some color bath stuff. Since pile under the tree was so large, we added two of his tree presents to stocking time, including a set of three balls. They were VERY popular and provided lots of pre-party entertainment.


My parents arrived at lunch, said a quick hello and then took me out to lunch while Ross put Cade down for his nap.

At 3p or so, the party started! Appetizers and tree presents. There was a MOUNTAIN of presents by the time everyone brought all of theirs inside. Eventually Cade had to open two to everyone else's one.

We planned to save his big present for last but with so many gifts, we realized it would be dark before we finished. So a few minutes before 5, we took an outside break. Here's a video of what happened next

As you can see, his reaction full of "wow" and "yay" was absolutely perfect! He's been loving his slide castle ever since and I am SO glad we got it for him.

Back to Christmas Eve, we finished presents - highlights include earrings and boots for me, weekend on Lake Travis for Mom & Dad, coo-coo clocks for us and the Vancils from Nancy & Jack, a train set for Cade, a Chicago Bears jersey for Ross, a carseat for Jack & Nancy, FitBit for Nancy, very very good whiskey for Jack and much much more. We all had a delicious dinner of brisket, mashed potatoes and zucchini. Brownies and coffee for dessert and I'd say the whole she-bang was complete around 8p.

All and all - a great Christmas! And thankfully, several vacation days afterward to for recovery rest and relaxation.

Dec 23, 2014

Christmas Eve Eve

This year our family is celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve to accommodate Ross' work schedule.And since Ross grew up celebrating on Christmas Eve, it isn't really a stretch. (Does this mean he never got to watch a relevant Santa radar on the news? I must ask; that would be sad.)

Cade started his Christmas Eve Eve with his "Christmas calendar" and today received a box of raisins, a delicious addition to his breakfast. Then it was off to preschool while Mommy and Daddy worked, built his big Christmas present and did the grocery shopping.

Let's visit the building part though. It included dropping temps, rain, a 20-page instruction book and lots of parts. But in the end, we got the job done (we may have gotten pneumonia from being out in the cold wet weather but damn it, Cade has his playscape-thingy).


The name of the game this evening was "keep Cade out of the backyard" so we closed all the blinds, went on a walk around the neighborhood and watched cartoons.

After bathtime we enjoyed one of the best Christmas Eve (Eve) traditions of all - cookies for Santa! Now I'll be honest, I didn't remember this until about 3:30p today so it wasn't quite June Cleaver fresh baked Toll House cookies. But since Cade isn't quite two yet, I think that's OK. Instead Santa got some strawberry newton cookies on a Santa plate (so he would know the cookies were for him, duh).

As you can see, Cade was very excited to put them out on the coffee table for Santa. (Since we don't have a fireplace, we just place them convenient to the Christmas tree. How Santa gets in without a chimney is a conversation for next year...or never if I can make that happen.)

And with that the little boy in reindeer jammies was off to bed, with visions of sugar plums dancing in his head.

Dec 22, 2014

Austin Moms Blog Kid-tastic Christmas

I'm pretty proud of this recent Austin Mom's Blog post. Reprinted here for your enjoyment! But do a blogger a favor, go read it/like it over there too.

I love Christmas but I am not a domestic diva.

Like not a domestic diva at all. My husband cooks (and well, I might add) and one of my new year’s resolutions is to spring for a monthly house cleaning. But like I said, I love Christmas and all the fun celebrating that comes with it.

So for you other non-domestic divas, or for the domestic diva who just needs a night off, here are 12 kid-tastic Christmas ideas that do not involve you becoming June Cleaver.

  1. Christmas cookiesCookie cutter cookies: Pre-packaged sugar cookies have a direction variation for going cookie cutter style. I think it still only required three ingredients or less. And HEB sells some Texas shaped cookie cutters for the $1-2 range. Go crazy.
  2. Christmas light drive: Whether around the block or through the Trail of Lights, this is a classic.
  3. Storytime: Local libraries, Barnes and Noble stores and BookPeople all offer holiday storytime for the small human in your life.
  4. Seasonal volunteering or donating: Many organizations like the Salvation Army offer unique seasonal giving-back opportunities. Pick one near and dear to your heart to show the kids what the giving season really means.
  5. Fire department drop-off: Fire departments run 24/7/365. Swing by your local station to drop off goodies. Homemade meals or simply bottled water and Gatorade are all appreciated.
  6. Red & green meals: Take inspiration from Green Eggs & Ham and turn any meal a little more festive with the addition of food coloring.
  7. Christmas crafts: You can paper mache a life-size Christmas tree if you want (but then you will qualify as a domestic diva). Or you can make simple construction paper chains or buy a Christmas coloring book. I recommend the Christmas Puppies coloring book because who doesn’t love Christmas and puppies.
  8. Movie night: Kid or parent selected, snuggle in for a Christmas classic like Miracle on 34th Street or modern classics like Elf. Personally, I love Prancer of the 1980s fame.
  9. Sing-a-long: Turn the daily commute or the over the hill and through the woods trip to Grandma’s into the jingle bell rock. Sing your hearts out y’all.
  10. Holiday bathtime: Much like holiday meals, add some red and green to bathtime to make it festive. The Crayola bath crayons or drops can lead the way. Or fill the tub with the foam letters to spell words like “Santa” and “tree.”
  11. It’s a small world: Choose a country, maybe the one your family hails from, and dedicate an evening to their Christmas traditions. You can include a special dinner dish (I’m sure World Market or Whole Foods can help), read a book or sing a song.
  12. Bible readings: Before Santa and the elves, there were Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Help your kids understand the origins of Christmas and the beliefs of your family.

Ba-da-bing ba-da-bum Christmas! No paper mache, aprons or Pinterest required.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 13, 2014

Adventures in Saturday-land

Ross is on vacation this week! Meaning a whole weekend with the whole family home! Woohoo!

Today we started with a delicious surprise egg breakfast, then Cade and I went on a walk through the neighborhood and then home for some Saturday morning cartoons. Then the whole family loaded up into my car to run a couple errands, including swinging by the fire station in Georgetown and ending at a park in Round Rock that includes dog park and kid park.

After nap Cade and I had a sidewalk chalk happy hour in the back porch. It feels SO much bigger now since our old table and chair set is gone. We colored all over the place - porch, fence and in Cade's case, on his face.


This evening Ross is out to dinner with friends while I hold down the fort (last night I went to a Christmas party while he held down the fort so this is a quality trade).

And finally, as you can see, I am getting way too into these picture collages...

Dec 10, 2014

An Evening Stroll

A little mother-son walk yesterday evening while daddy cooked dinner. The cutest part - when he wasn't running ahead of me or pointing to "big cars," all he wanted to do was hold my hand!


Dec 9, 2014

Big D Birthday

Well it has been many moons since I blogged here but we have been busy! On Black Friday we decorated and then Nikki and Brittany came over for a slumber party. The next Friday we had another slumber party - in Dallas for Nikki's 30th birthday! This slumber party though started with champagne, included dinner at one of the fanciest schmanciest places in Dallas and ended at a bar & lounge, also on the fancy Dallas list.


In between slumber parties we've had work, a double ear-infection (Cade), a dentist appointment (me) and all kinds of other normal every day things. So really, with those few sentences, you are totally up to speed!

But because I know you love baby pictures, I'll leave you with this one of the little boy playing on his water table (a very summertime activity) despite that it is the holidays and as you can see our Christmas tree is up and decorated.