Friday, December 31, 2010

Think Pink

A special friend was having a special birthday just yesterday, and it certainly required that something special be done to celebrate it. And so under the guise of coming over for one of our regular old Thursday playdates, I surprised Missy with a ladies' lunch to ring in her 40th birthday. The portable party was left stored in the car until I could spring the news on her. Mis had been so utterly convinced along the way that it was going to be the most anticlimactic birthday ever that she continued to doubt what I was telling her until I was physically dragging the leaves to the table up from the basement and hauling bags of stuff into the house.

It can't be a good party without good food and good friends! When storming someone's house unannounced with a party in tow it's usually best to try not to overwhelm them, so I only invited a few of her closest friends from her mommy group and Jack's preschool. I wish everyone we know could have come to fete my fabulous friend!

Everything was pink (with a little touch of green) - the banner, plates, cups, napkins, cookies, frosting, candies.....You know it's the right way to go when someone has a pink dining room. And Missy was already wearing the pink shirt when I got there. Perfect!

And where was Joseph in all this? Just like at every party - watching Cars and eating cakepops (which, by the way, I think are my favorite batch yet). Mimi came along and was so so sweet to help watch all the kiddies during the party.

When almost everyone was gone I got to give Missy her present (which was a brilliant suggestion from her husband. Can't believe I didn't think of it 1st):

The 2 of us have seen Britney in concert as well as *NSYNC, and now NKOTBSB! (Do I really have to explain it's the joint New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert?) This was just the best idea for those of us in our 40's (that includes you now, hon!) who still act and feel like we're in our teens.

Thanks to Renee for making those awesome tickets (sorry I didn't get a picture with you) and to all the lovely ladies that helped make this a wonderful memory for our dear friend!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Wrap

Time to wrap up the holiday season! No time left in the year for multiple posts chronicling every detail, so here's 1 big summary. It's been crazy busy but super fun. We were thrilled to spend Christmas eve and morning in our own home. Santa's visit was the 1st thing on Joseph's mind the second he woke up (outside of getting his hands on my Flip video camera).

Joseph loved all his presents as well as digging through his stocking, in which Santa put a rolling pin to use with his new green Play-Doh, tons of character bandaids (since he has to put on at least 2 or 3 after his bath every night), and a new Cars shirt which had to be worn immediately.

You may notice Joseph eating the cookies Santa wasn't able to finish.
He loved the fireman boots and umbrella that were among the gifts from Daddy & Papa.

The parking garage and racetrack were also a hit, but it seems by far the favorite gift of the year so far was a huge set of dinosaurs from Uncle Mike and cousins Michael & Sami.

Brent & I then had to cram in time for some actual work - we were both on call for the holiday weekend, hence the reason we got to be home for the holidays. We ended with a lovely evening at Missy & Matt's, having been invited to join their family Christmas dinner. They served a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings, ending with a show-stopping traditional English pudding set ablaze. Using our stockings for place cards was a clever, stylish touch, but Joseph most enjoyed the train around the tree that Santa had left for Jack & Will.

Mimi arrived on the 26th to spend the week with us. She hands-down wins the grandparent of the year award, having spent the better part of 18ish hours in transit here. The recent east coast snowstorms caused so many cancelled, delayed, and rerouted flights that only a grandmother's love and desire to see her grandson could withstand. Her luggage arrived 2 days later to much fanfare.

Mimi & Poppy gave Joe Joe a bounce house which he was ready to jump right into, but the 30 degree weather here has delayed his gratification.

Grammy & Grandpa also had to defer their trip due to the snow and unexpectedly decided to drive down just for the night on the 28th, bringing more presents than would have fit in Santa's sleigh.

It wasn't until last night that we finally got to open presents from Uncle Glenn, Aunt Suthern, Leyton & Ashton. We are all now fascinated with Hex Bugs, but Joseph has amazingly been able to divide his attention equally among all of his new toys and games.

You know, Santa never did come through with the orange car Joseph asked for (how random was that request anyway?), but I doubt he'll miss it or remember he even asked for one.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Night Before Christmas

Looking like an angel ready to go to the children's mass on Christmas Eve.
But there's just a touch of inner Grinch.

Joe Joe was really good during mass, but from time to time we'd point out things to hold his attention for a while. He looked at the crucifix and all the stained glass windows. Randomly, 10 minutes later, not in a whisper, "What's wrong with Jesus?" "Nothing, honey, he's fine." Can you explain crucifixion to a 3 year old? Should you? Randomly, 10 minutes later, not in a whisper, "Why Jesus got a boo-boo on his knee?" "Well, he fell while carrying the cross, but he'll be fine." Religion and toddlers don't mix.

Later at home we got things ready for Santa's visit by putting out milk and cookies (and apple slices for the reindeer) and hanging the stockings by the chimney without care. We made sure to point out we would make sure the fire was out before we went to bed so Santa wouldn't get hurt when he came down the chimney.

We had let him open one present from us to entertain him while we ate dinner, which was....

...Buzz Lightyear! Remote controlled, lights, sounds, speaks in Spanish, dances, frightens cats, gives parents headaches, etc.

It was surely the year for character-related gifts. Santa brought a radio controlled Lightening McQueen (fresh batteries already dead 2 days later) and a Spiderman hopper ball.

The big gift from us (errr, Santa) was a parking garage with ramps and a working elevator and a roadway system to go with it, complete with giant cat.

After Joseph went to bed Brent and I opened our gifts to each other, enjoyed the fire, and hung out with our other boys.

Absolutely dreamy to spend Christmas at home this year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

On Thursday we finally ventured out to the "new" National Harbor waterfront area to check out the amazing annual ICE! display at the Gaylord National Resort. Any guesses of the theme?

2 million pounds of colored ice have been sculpted by Chinese artists into a dazzling walk-thru world of 10 vignettes from the holiday classic we know as "The Grinch."

It is interestingly house in a tent bigger than a football field that they somehow manage to maintain at below freezing temperatures. You absolutely must keep on all of your winter wear in addition to the giant blue parka they provide for you, and it's still freaking cold!

Look at all the little Whos down in Whoville singing and celebrating Christmas and melting the Grinch's heart.

There's also a skating rink and shops in the tent, and we happened by this pretty Christmas tree,

made entirely of PEEPS! There just might be a PEEP store nearby...

Although still freezing it was still warmer outside, so we walked down to the waterfront to check out the tree that had captured Joseph's attention all through dinner at Rosa Mexicana. I sincerely love the greeter at the restaurant who intuitively knew that the best table for a couple with a 3 year old looked out onto the constantly flashing light display on the waterfront.

Mr. Grinch may be a mean one, but he surely kicked off the holiday festivities for us.