Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rose Bowl or bust...!

So, tomorrow morning, bright and early, we're off on our road trip to go to the ROSEBOWL! Wa-hoo! Me, Colin and my mother-in-law will be driving straight through, so wish us luck. ;0) Colin and I are not only excited about going to the Rosebowl (did I say WA-HOO?!), but we also get to stay with my little brother and his girlfriend. We haven't seen John since April and Lindsey for over a year, so we're definitely due for a visit.
So, I'll update when we get back, and...GO DUCKS!!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Conversations with Zavion

I know it's been awhile for an installment of these, but this one is worth it....

Z: Can we go to Burger King for lunch?
M: Silence
Z: We have the money.
M: Do we? How do you know?
Z: Well, we can ask someone for money...
M: Really? Who?
Z: Can I have some money to go to Burger King?


M: Where is my double-sticky tape? Has anyone seen my double-sticky tape?
Z: Mom, you're a magician!
M: I am? Why?
Z: Because, you can make tape disappear!

Ohh, how I love my boy! He's so quick now and obviously quite the smart-aleck. We're gonna have fun when this one starts school! ;0)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The big O-N-E

So, my sweet Miss Avalee turned one year old on December 12th. As is customary around here, we did it up big with a party in her honor. ;0)
The theme was cupcakes, and I decided the theme lended itself to homemade decorations. So, I made (almost) everything myself; from the invitations to the cupcakes.
I had a blast with all the planning, and was super-happy with how everything turned out.
We had a nice group (even though the forecast called for freezing rain, and it was a little worrisome for awhile), and Avalee was thrilled that all the special people in her life were there.

The 'Happy Birthday' banner I slaved over for three days. LOL!

Part 1 of the garland; also time consuming, but the results made it worthwhile (sorry, not the best angle).

Part 2 of the garland; pictures of sweet Avalee over the last year.

The giant cupcake Aunt Liz (and Uncle Brendan too, I heard!) made.

Our cupcake making station. Turned out pretty cute, and the kids loved it!

I really dig this picture Colin fun!

I had a time capsule (did the same thing for Z's 1st birthday) and asked everyone to bring something special to add; Avalee gets to open it on her 10th birthday.

Grandpa adding a rock he hand-cut.

Crissy adding a book of jokes.

We also created a little slide show of pictures of Avalee over the last year. See, that big TV came in handy. ;0)

The cupcakes; Avalee got the giant cupcake to dig into (yes, I used a mold)!

And, she had a few ;0) gifts to unwrap...

And, of course...let her eat cake. Unfortunately, she was a little more dainty than I would have preferred. Darn girl loves her food so much that she makes sure it goes into the mouth, and doesn't get wasted. LOL!

LOVE this picture! Clearly, she thinks we've all lost it... " lit a cake on fire & now you're all singing in unison? Wha...?!

Realized it was ok to just dig in!

Love this one of the cupcake looming in front of her!

She decided to make it easier, and just bite the cake!

Obviously, I have a bazillion more photos, but I will spare you with the rest of them. ;0) The party was a big success and I can't wait to start planning #2!

So, a HUGE thanks to Grandma for helping make everything come together. She put up the decorations, helped me get the food ready, cleaned up...well, what didn't she do? You are awesome; thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! And, a big thanks to Aunt Liz for, once again, creating an adorable design for 'the' wall (LOL)! Did I tell you next year's theme is mermaids? You might want to start working on that one now... ;0)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Avalee...

My sweet little Miss Avalee,
I can hardly believe you are already one year old. This last year seems to have just flown by, although I can vividly recall all your special milestones and stages.
You are my daughter, my sweet baby girl, and of course I love you more than you will ever know. But, I also love who you are and who you are becoming. You are an amazing person and truly one-of-a-kind.
You have always been such a happy baby! In fact, I believe you are the happiest person (let alone, baby) I have ever known. You are always smiling and laughing, and charm everyone with your cheerful nature. Your smile just radiates from you, and you make the most amazing face when you are happy; your nose crinkles up and your eyes get so sparkly. And, your giggles have to be just about the best sound I have ever heard.
You love people, and light up when anyone (even strangers) talk to you. You are very social, although you play coy sometimes, which is just even more endearing.
You are also so incredibly loving, and we all feel so lucky to be loved by you. You were giving out kisses and hugs long before other babies and are really starting to perfect the process now. A frequent recipient of your loving is your big brother. You love nothing more than to hug and kiss him all over! And, he loves you right back. Even if he's not in a great mood, you always make him smile and giggle with your love 'attacks', and than, he usually he reciprocates. ;0) And, of course Mommy and Daddy frequently get smothered with your little kisses and hugs. Daddy gets the added bonus of the squealing greeting when he gets home from work.
And, you're quite the little talker (just like your big brother!). You were always babbling, but within the last few months have learned lots of new words, and have even managed to string some together. You always make us laugh too, when you respond “Nothing” when we ask, “Avalee, what are you doing?” Or, “What?” when we say “Avalee.” You say “bye” now, which accompanied by your cute little wave, is just adorable.
You are a music lover, which, of course is no surprise in this family. You will play on your little piano or drums for a long time, in your own little world. You used to do a little booty-shaking dance move, but now your signature move is your head bobbing. As soon as your hear music, you start bobbing your head along! And, you've just recently started 'singing' along to some of your favorite songs. I have a little battery operated mouse that sings and dances to 'Jingle Bell Rock' and you just love him. As soon as you hear the song, you start bobbing along and signing with him. 'Wheels On the Bus' is another of your favorite songs, and it always calms you down when you're upset in the car (since you hate being in your carseat). I put on a CD and Z and I will sing along for you, and you immediately calmed.
For these reasons, and so many more, I love you with all my heart. This last year, with you in our lives, has been an amazing adventure. You have added a whole new layer to our family, and we are all so lucky to be with you.
While I will miss this last year, and those amazing baby days, I look forward to the next year. I know you are no longer that little baby that was content to just be held and rocked for hours on end. You no longer have the patience to just stare into my eyes while I sing to you or tell you a little story. You are a girl on the move now. You want to play, and laugh, and tell me stories. You want to see everything, do everything, experience everything. You are turning into a little girl, before my eyes. I'm excited to see what the years hold in store for you, and honored to share in your journey with you. You have brought so much to my life, and I love you more than you will ever know.
And, remember, you will always be my baby girl.

I Love You,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Everything is coming up roses...

So, for those of you that don't know, Colin and I are big University of Oregon football fans. He graduated from Oregon in '03, and was even in the band (both playing & as drum major) a few years.
So, we have season tickets and block out most Saturdays during the fall. Well, yesterday was the Civil War game, which is between the two state universities; Oregon State and University of Oregon. The game is a big deal, mostly because the winner gets bragging rights for a whole year. And, when your co-worker, neighbor, mailman or best friend is your rival, that's pretty darn important.
But, this Civil War was different, because the winner got the golden ticket; a place in the Rose Bowl championship game.
So, yesterday was THE big game, and thankfully it was a home game for us season tickets holders. We were pumped, had donned the appropriate amount of Duck gear, and had sufficiently participated in trash talking with aforementioned persons.
And, long story short...WE WON!!!!!! We're going to the ROSE BOWL baby!!!
C and I are actually thinking about going to Pasadena, so stay tuned... ;0)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

December, here we come!

I realize I've been pretty absent lately, and I no I didn't forget I had this blog. Somehow, this month just got away from me. One minute, we had just finished Halloween, and the next we were coming into the home stretch of November!
The kids and I have been keeping pretty busy, in part because we joined a new mom's club. We've gone on a few playdates and activities, including a trip to the fire department. Z had so much fun!

I've also been working like a madwoman on A's upcoming birthday party. Last weekend was consumed with making the invitations. In fact, I pretty much abandoned my family on Sunday evening to work on them. I took over making dinner, so Colin could run to the store. The kids had been playing together in the family room, but I thought it seemed a little too quiet (you know what I mean, Mom's). When I looked over, I saw this...

Apparently Daddy left a box of Cheerios on the floor, a little too close to Miss A, who LOVES her food. She was in heaven, and while it was kind of funny (and pretty darn cute) it just meant I had to get out the vacuum for the second time that day.
We also bought a new dining room table, in anticipation of Thanksgiving (plus A's birthday and Christmas and, well, many other occasions!). It is much bigger than our old table, and can seat up to 14! So, everyone over to my house for a party. ;0)
Then, this big guy arrived.

Yup, that's 'Wow, Wow Wubzy.' Because what else would you watch after buying a brand new 50" plasma HDTV??

We had been shopping for a new TV for months, and decided to wait for the Black Friday sales. Well, it was a wise decision and our waiting paid off because we got this for about $500 off the regular price! Of course, this meant an unexpected evening of putting it up and getting everything programmed. And, of course, the boys had to break it in by playing video games right away.

And, yes, we did just celebrate Thanksgiving, so I will update soon about that!

Oh, and for those of you that read this regularly, you'll notice I have added a new 'About Me' just to the right. I plan on making some more changes soon, so keep checkin' back! Also, if you want to keep up with new blogs, make sure to follow me. Just click on 'Follow' in the upper left of this page (next to the search bar). You can be notified by email whenever I have a new post (plus you can get your name and a nifty picture in my 'followers' section--who wouldn't want that??). And, if you're new, be sure to leave me a comment, so I can check out your blog too. :0)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Five Question Friday!

My Little Life

I know I haven't blogged in awhile, but I'm working on something, and in the meantime, this is me stalling. ;0)

1. Do you do a real or fake Christmas tree?
Real, of course! We live in Oregon, and, well, to not have a real tree, is just wrong. And, because we live in Oregon, we have access to some of the best trees, for a fraction of the price of some of our West Coast neighbors (my little bro & his girlfriend live in Cali & pay a pretty penny). So, we'll go out and cut down our own tree then haul it back home to decorate. I loove the smell of fresh pine and will even put up with the icky little bugs that hitch a ride on my tree, just to get that experience.

2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition with your family?
Ever since I can remember, my family has gone out to breakfast on Christmas morning, after opening our gifts. Back then, it was just my parents, little brother and me and the only place open on Christmas Day was Denny's. Now, we have a larger group, and have moved over to IHOP. We also seem to get over there more around lunch time, than breakfast, now that we have kids of our own. But, it's still something I look forward to every year! :)

3. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods? And, if many calories do you think you consumed yesterday?

We actually host Thanksgiving at our house. My parents always come over and sometimes Colin's mom or dad or my grandma will also come over. This year we had my parents & sister, Colin's dad and my grandma. Calories...? Hmm...are you even allowed to count calories on Thanksgiving? I mean, I thought it was an unspoken rule that Thanksgiving is one of the “freebie” days. Anyway, I did make green beans sautéed in butter with bacon, chocolate peanut butter pie and brown sugar glazed ham. Then, there was the turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, rolls and two other pies. So...calories...? idea. ;0)

4. Have you started decorating for Christmas, yet?
We have everything out and ready to go! We will probably decorate this weekend, and maybe even get our tree! Christmas is my favorite holiday and I LOVE to decorate, so I'm WAY excited!!

5. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

Well, I love sugar cookies, especially with cream cheese frosting. Also, my mom makes haystacks, which are seriously to.die.for. I can probably eat my weight in those in one sitting, and probably have! Yum, yum!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Diary of Miss Avalee Apryl

Wow, it's been awhile since I've written in my diary. So, today is my 11th month birthday! Mama has been gettin' all excited planning a birthday party for me next month, and says I'm gonna love it. I don't know much about parties, but they say I'm going to get a big cake all to myself that I get to eat! I don't even think I have to share with my brother. So, I'll let Mama get all crazy-excited, but I'm just waiting for that cake!
So, let's see...what I have been up to? Well, I have six teeth now! Yup, four on the top on two on the bottom. I love eating small bits of food and chomping them up with my teeth. Mom gives me big-girl food now; carrots, peas, cheese, noodles. And, the best part is she doesn't even mash it all up first! Tonight for dinner, Daddy made me my very own pancake. I'm not sure where these have been all my life, but can I just say...YUMM!
I'm talking a lot more now--well, I've always talked, but nobody could seem to understand me, and now they can! The other morning, after Daddy left for work, I even told Mama; “Dad-Da, Da-Da-Bye-Bye!” I guess Mommy was impressed because she texted Daddy right away to tell him.
I also recently learned to clap (thanks Grandma!) and love doing it! I even clapped along to my favorite TV show, 'Yo Gabba Gabba' (Mommy says not to be too hard on her; she knows I probably shouldn't be watching TV, but my bro gets to watch, and, hey, I'm right there...). In fact, I just always feel so happy, that I clap at almost everything! :D
My other recent skill? Daddy taught me to high-five! I still don't really understand what it is or why we do it, but it makes Daddy happy, so I just giggle and go along with it.
And, my newest trick...walking! Yup, I took my first 'real' step a couple days ago. Z was playing his harmonica and I just really wanted to get closer to those sweet sweet sounds, so I took a step to him! Yay, me! I have done a little more walking since then, but nothing big...yet. I really like cruising on my hippo walker, and can really get movin' with that thing! I'm just working up to be able to finally chase after Z!
And, I had my first Halloween. Mom and Dad took me and Z out to do something they call, “Trick-or-Treating.” I had no idea what that was, but Z was really excited, so I figured it must be good. Turns out though, you have to get changed into some strange clothes that you've never worn before, and never will again. Mama called them “costumes” and put me into a pink leopard one. I thought I looked pretty awesome! Than we got to walk all over our neighborhood, knocking on doors. Mom and Dad let Z go up to the doors and knock, than the people gave him candy! I was so excited to do it myself, that I was practically jumping out of Daddy's arms. One really nice man let me grab a candy, all by myself. I chose M&Ms, and got to chew on the wrapper while we were out. When we got home, I was so excited to try everything out, but Mama and Daddy said I was too young. What?! Well, I decided to play with all the candy anyway, which was a lot of fun (and later, I showed them by getting into some Nerds...hehehe).
I'm told the next holiday is Thanksgiving, and there will be all kinds of food to eat. They did say I could eat that, so I'm really excited, because I looove to eat!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Feelin' Pumpkiny

The day after Z's birthday, we decided to make the trek to the pumpkin patch. It was really our last window, and we were running out of time! So, we headed over to our favorite patch, Bauman Farms with both grandmas in tow.
This place is much, much more than just a pumpkin patch, so we decided to take in some of the other activities first. We played in the frontier fort, where I actually went down one of the tube slides with Z, willingly (I'm a little claustrophobic, so he better appreciate my sacrifice!) and checked out all the cute animals in the petting zoo. Z was getting a little anxious to get his pumpkin, so we boarded the covered wagon/hay ride for the pumpkin patch. Z was a little unsure about the hayride, until we started moving; then he loved it! He was waving at people and pointing out all the pumpkins he was going to take home.
Once we got into the patch, Z decided he was going to take the first pumpkin he laid eyes on. Of course, it was huge and not in the best shape either. We walked around inspecting each and every pumpkin, and I started to feel a little bad for judging these guys so harshly. ;0) We each had our own idea of what made up a 'good' pumpkin; Colin likes the BIG pumpkins, I like the deep orange, really round pumpkins and Z...well he likes them all! Avalee was having a great time too, and it was so great to experience this from her eyes. When she felt the first pumpkin, her eyes got wide and she just grinned and giggled. She loved standing up against the pumpkins, which made for some great photo ops! Of course, we also had to stock up on Indian corn, which I love for their colors and gourds which Z loves for their “funny shapes.” We weighed our loot and 150lbs (yup, heard me right) later, we were set.
We 'let' Daddy take the pumpkins to the car, and Z and I went through the pirate ship. Again, I made some sacrifices for the boy, because in order to get to the ship, you have to walk through a very dark hay corridor. Blech! Then, it was off to the jumping pillow, which I thought Z would love, but he just wasn't that into. We realized it was getting late anyway, and they would close soon, so we had to get our cider and donuts (I don't even like cider or doughnuts, and I worship this stuff). Of course, on the way to get our goodies, we were enticed by signs for cider smoothies, and couldn't pass that up. And, wowza was that yummy! So, we got a couple gallons of cider, two bags of donuts (I told you, they are good) and I even found some adorable miniature pepper plants (which, of course, are not still sitting in their original containers).
So, it was a great afternoon, fun was had by all and we left with lots of goodies for later enjoyment!

Oh, and in case you're wondering...I know 'Pumpkiny' is not a word, but I needed to make it up one year when certain people (John & Colin-you know who you are) weren't getting into the joy of the pumpkin patch.

On the hay ride

The donuts!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Zavion's SUPER Birthday party

So, as the previous post mentioned, Mr. Zavion turned four on the 19th. He requested a Superman birthday party, and while I normally don't do commercial/character themes, it was certain he would need a Superman party at some point in his childhood.
So, Superman it was. I had Colin take Z out while we (me, my mom, Mercedes and her boyfriend) decorated, so he would be a little surprised to see everything.
Once all the guests arrived (and ate), the kids got to do some fun activities. We had capes and masks for them to decorate, and they had a great time putting massive amounts of glitter glue and stickers on them. Then they got to get their pictures taken as a Superhero. We also had a Superman pinata, and they were all pretty excited to get a crack at that. They all had lots of fun taking turns hitting the pinata, then scrambling for goodies.
Then it was cake time, which is a favorite of Z's! I had made some cake toppers out of melted chocolate, that were molded into Superman shields. They turned out really well, and looked great on top of the blue-frosted cupcakes. I made Z a jumbo cupcake, with three candles and a number four sparkler. He was blown away when I lit the candles and sparkler, and the look on his face was priceless. :0)
After cake and ice cream, Z got to open his presents, and to say he was excited is an understatement. For him, getting all the attention on him is just as fun as the gifts he gets to open. He received lots of great gifts, and had so much fun.

BIG thanks to Grandma for making the capes and pinata and Aunt CC for the superhero cut-out!

Helping Z design his cape

Z & his cousin Ty making masks

Taking a swing at the pinata

He's really serious about breaking that open!

This one's for you John ;0)

Ohh, The Green Lantern DVD...SWEET!

My super-birthday boy! Love ya buddy!!
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