Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's a Great Day to Be a Five (year old)

Riley's 5th birthday. I can't believe my baby's 5. I remember his "birth" day like it was yesterday. It wasn't, was it?

We kicked the morning off getting dressed for school. I woke him up singing "Happy Birthday to You." As we were putting on his socks, he says, "Mommy, my chest hurts." "Why?" I wonder. "From when that 5 came into me while I was sleeping, " he serious I couldn't laugh...but my heart did melt a little bit. How cute is that? Where on earth do they get this stuff?

A chocolate cupcake with 5 candles for breakfast. Mommy would NEVER do this if it wasn't a birthday without eating lots of vegetables first!

We grabbed the chocolate cupcakes we made to take to school and as he climbed into the car, he was excited because I'd blown up several small balloons and threw them in the backseat (an idea I stole from my friend Ashley). A great day at school, complete with birthday crown, birthday hugs from friends, and there were so many kids out sick that day...they had cupcakes twice!
After school, our plans were to go to Tokyo Steak House. He'd never been there before, but I thought that because he loves to cook with me in the kitchen, he'd love it. I think everyone thought I was nuts for choosing that place, but I felt pretty good about it. Hoping he would too.

Before the chef even started cooking, he said, "Daddy, am I dreaming, or is this really happening to me?" He enjoyed the experience so much, ate his entire meal with chopsticks, and we all had a great time.

Some of the highlights were:

Daddy catching a shrimp in his mouth,
Riley catching a shrimp in his mouth,
(I actually caught a shrimp too, for the first time--but I had the camera!)

the volcano,

and the chopsticks.

Kace didn't feel the same way, at first. The moment the untinsils at the next stable started banging and clanging, he freaked out and tried to climb out of his high chair. "This is going to be a looooong night, " I thought, "what will he do when the fire starts up?" I imagined myself in the car with Kace while everyone else enjoyed Riley's birthday dinner. Not good. He did get better, as long as he was held. Mom held him through dinner and he did okay. He was VERY much aware of every flame that flared up in the entire restaurant. He would whip his head around like an owl. In the end, it turned out to be humorous....thank goodness!

For a split second, I regretted taking him there. Every kitchen rule I've ever taught him went out the window during this meal. No onions! Don't play with knives. Don't throw food. Don't touch fire, it will burn you...and hurt. I told him that these chefs had to go to school to learn how to do do these triks while cooking and he said, "When can I go to that school?" Oh dear...

Our chef in training! No knives, no fire!

Happy Birthday, Son. It's going to be an amazing year, I just know it. Especially because you told us the morning of your birthday, "That 5-year-olds listen."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My friend Tina at Shot of Whimsy has been such an inspiration to me lately. She started a new project, posting a daily photo for a year. She has inspired me and many others to stop and take notice of the beauty in our every day lives. She has no idea how I anxiously await her latest post...and look forward to the next one.

These trees at the entrance to my subdivision have been there as long as I can remember. Each year at this time, they have bright red berries and I think they are just beautiful. I always have an excuse not to stop and take pictures of them (children in the car, it's too cold, too many cars driving by, etc.) but thanks to Tina, I made the effort to stop and photograph these berries. They're not exactly what I wanted them to look like, but they are pretty. I think I'll have to make another attempt before the berries vanish until next year...

Thank you, Tina, for making me realize that beautiful photos don't have to have the perfect hair, the perfect outfit, and the perfect light. There is so much beauty in our every day.

This one is my favorite...I saved the best for last!

Monday, January 17, 2011



1 eager, self feeding 1 year old
1/2 an avocado, diced into tiny pieces
Throw in a few smashed black beans

Place a few pieces on tray, sit back, and let the magic happen!

(I'm not sure if the green in his nose is avocado or....ha!) He's happy, it was fun, and yes, he did have a long bath afterwards.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tubs of Fun

Kace has always been pretty social in his own way. He's been a big flirt since birth, batting his eyes and coyishly turning his head. He's becoming more and more social. He loves to talk at home, but if there is a crowd, he just sits back and takes it all in. He is definitely having separation anxiety right now...he'll start to cry if he sees the back of my head! He's still such a happy, content little muffin.

We've had bouts with sickness between both boys lately. It honestly seems like if it's not one, it's the other. We even had an adventure in the ER Christmas night with Kace! Even when he feels bad, has a fever, cough, wheezing, whatever....a bath always makes him smile. He just loves splashing and kicking in the water. I think he particularly loves that Mommy and Daddy seem to get wet from shoulder to knees while bathing him too!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


We have a nightly visitor. The first time I heard him I was rocking Kace just before bedtime. What a peaceful, beautiful sound it was. At first, I thought it was the rocking chair squeaking!

Our neighbor has heard it...and tonight, I ran outside to find it. It was in a tree in our yard. I was wishing it wasn't too late to get Riley...and it wasn't a school night, or I would've.

The video below is video indeed, but it's only for the sound. You can't see him.

Russ spotlighted him (and he didn't fly away at first) so I could get a better picture. My next mission is to get a video of him flying away. We saw it tonight, but I wasn't quick enough. It was breathtaking!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Incredible Little Hulk

As I'm sitting at the computer, Riley walks into the office and says, "Mommy, my pants are not fitting. I can't snap them, can you help me?"

Yes, my boy is growing, but THIS is insanity!!

Um, yes, my almost 5 year old can wear 18 month jeans. Hilarious, isn't it? The sad part is that I can't even begin to look this good in the size 4 jeans and pants awaiting my arrival in my closet. WHY???

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's the New, New Years Eve

Well, our plans were to have a laid back New Years Eve anyway. We were going to a family birthday dinner at Grandmom and Grandda's to celebrate Mom, John, and Carole's birthdays and then off to Craig and Susan's for a very casual game night with the kiddos.

While shopping, Kace just got warmer and warmer, couldn't keep his little red eyes open, and I knew that our evening was taking a turn. I called and cancelled with our friends, but we pushed it and went to dinner with our family to celebrate 3 important birthdays. While there, Riley had a meltdown, as he didn't have a nap that day AND proceeded to fall into the water feature that Grandda built, swim 3 feet to the other side, get out, and was soaking wet from his shoulders to his boots. We stripped him down, threw his clothes in the dryer, and wrapped him in towels and sat him by the fire. Eventually he jumped in the shower to warm up. Meanwhile, Kace is hacking and isn't smiling for any reason.
Headed home. Kace coughing. Riley, buckled into his carseat, wearing my new North Face jacket, naked underneath. I'll for sure think of that every time I wear it!

On our front porch was a perfect pick me up, with no card attached, but we had a great guess. Those Unbelieable Unbehagan's. There was a bottle of sparkling pear juice, absolutely perfect for our unexpect evening at home, just the 4 of us.

I broke out the champagne flutes, so we could enjoy the only sparkly thing about this New Years Eve, and made Kace a bottle.

We toasted to the near year and gave each other New Year kisses. At 9:00!

Riley didn't love the sparkling pear so much, so I drank his and filled his glass with milk...NOW WE WERE TALKIN'!!

All evening, I thought about the drama that we used to go through to find the perfect outfit with just the right amount of sparkle (to wear, not drink), hair, makeup, getting there, etc. My, how our lives have changed! I was so happy to be home with my boys, cozy in their own beds, and barely staying awake long enough to ring in the new year with my wonderful husband.

I wouldn't have it any other way...sick babies, meltdowns, jeans, t-shirts, tennis shoes, wonderful neighbors that were with us in spirit, and milk in champagne flutes. Perfect. Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to what 2011 has in store for us and our family and friends!